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The Verde River, located just 30 minutes from Sedona is federally designated as 'wild and scenic'. This majestic river attracts alot of local attention but not alot of visitors know about it. Let's face it, people don't think 'river' when they think of the desert. The Verde River is definitly a jewel of the high deserts of Arizona, with lots of riparian habitat, fishing spots and lets not forget year round boating, canoeing and kayaking!
During the winter, fall and spring months the water levels on the Verde River are class 1 & 2, which is mild; perfect for beginners! But the lower Verde River is much more technical and advanced; when it rains or snows it can become class 3 and quite challenging, perfect for all you experience boaters reading this. Just recently, there been getting epic rains in Arizona and Oak Creek that runs through Sedona even got up to 3,000 cfs (class 3-5). Oak Creek can be kayaked by experienced boaters when it is running at 1,500 cfs. cfs(cubic feet per square inch). For water levels and weather conditions in Arizona visit www.noaa.com.
Inflatable kayaks are for the Verde River especially during the Summer months when the water levels get a bit low. The River can still be lots of fun with inflatables, plus their light, easy to manuver and deflate to the size of a large suitcase. Small, sports hard-shell kayaks are recommend for more sporty stuff like when Oak Creek flashes, inflatables can still be used for this and work just as well.
If your in the area and want something different, look into going kayaking no matter what the season. You want fun? excitement? To go where no one else goes? Then kayaking in the desert is the way to achieve that.
For more information I recommend contacting the Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce, the Camp Verde Parks & Rec (put on a annual Verde River Canoe Challenge in March) or the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and ask about the Verde River and how you can boat it. You can also Google "Verde River, Arizona" to find maps and articles.