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East Verde River Case Study

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Below the Mogollon Rim near Payson runs the East Verde River, a waterway that is supplemented with discharge of water collected on The Rim at CC. Cragin Reservoir. According to Clay Thompson of the Arizona Republic, the area gets its name from the mechanization of the water’s power through a metal water wheel fashioned from milk cans that was used by gold miner James “Dave” Greer to crush ore and supply a sluice box with water.

The United States Geological Survey pinpoints the waterway’s rate of flow at Camp Verde, Arizona, 60 some miles down the canyon. Median flow for June 1 hovers at 82 feet per second, though the canyon that guides it can become a raging torrent, once funneling 481 cubic feet per second through its rocky shoals on June 1 of 1992. Fortunately, our visit to the popular recreation area was marked with a serene 63 cubic feet per second chattering down the river.
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The river plunges down weathered rock dotted with copses of juniper, sycamore, oak, and manzanita. Crags soar on each side of the canyon, funneling the river’s flow over falls and delta-like redirections among interspersed jagged and polished rock beds. My daughters alternate between rushing ahead and falling behind as we hike the two miles to the destination falls and its accompanying pool of crystal water. The river itself alternates between barely shoe depth trickles, raging, frothy falls, and deep, crisp, and clear swimming holes that seem to be hollowed out of the living rock for the express purpose of completely immersing one’s
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