The Lower TAPCO River Access Point (TAPCO RAP) is located on approximately 110 acres of private property leased to the Town of Clarkdale and is a popular location for kayakers and canoers to launch their boats for the 2-hour float downstream to the Tuzigoot River Access Point. The east bank of the Verde River within the RAP area includes approximately 3,500 feet of shoreline perfect for picnicking, fishing, swimming/wading, bird watching and nature photography.
The site includes 9 acres of designated parking and a ½ acre boat launch site that includes designated launch areas for both commercial and private boaters. Several commercial river runner outfitters are permitted by the Town of Clarkdale to launch tours from the commercial launch site at this location.
Ancient cliff dwellings are visible across the Verde River, as are the occasional small herds of cattle and/or mules from a nearby ranch that sometimes roam in the riverbed.
Public Access is at 3400 Sycamore Canyon Road in Clarkdale. Sycamore Canyon Road is paved for the first 1.4 miles north from its intersection with Tuzigoot Road. After 1.4 miles, the road turns to dirt for the final .80 miles to the gravel entrance to the Lower TAPCO RAP. The driveway entrance is clearly marked with signage. Travel on the dirt section of the road can be compromised during heavy rain events due to muddy conditions.
The east bank of the Verde River within the RAP area includes approximately 3,500 feet of shoreline perfect for picnicking, fishing, swimming/wading, bird watching and nature photography.
Don’t miss the interpretive signage that is posted near the Self-Pay Station and in the parking lot above the boat launch area!
Portions of the Lower TAPCO RAP are located within the National Audubon Society’s Tuzigoot Important Birding Area (IBA) which supports nearly 200 species of birds. This site, along with the entire Verde River riparian ecosystem, boasts one of the only 20 Cottonwood-Willow Gallery Forests in the world. Over 80% of the wildlife in the area depend on the Verde River and its tributaries for habitat, including several threatened and endangered species.
Visitors to the Verde River are encouraged to practice “Leave No Trace” ethics when enjoying the Verde River. As more people discover and enjoy the Verde, we all have a stake in making sure the river stays healthy, continues to provide important habitat for wildlife, and remains an enjoyable, beautiful place for future generations to cherish.
Visitors should pack in/pack out all trash and deposit it in the centralized trash receptacle in the general parking area. Picnicking is encouraged, but campfires are not allowed at the River Access Points or along the river.
This day use area is open year round during daylight hours except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Portable toilets are available in the parking lot above the boat launch area.
On entering the Lower TAPCO RAP, vehicle registration at the self-pay station is mandatory, but the $5 recommended donation is voluntary to help offset operations.
ADA Accessibility Notes
All parking lots are hard packed gravel/dirt and pathways are unimproved over natural and uneven terrain. Although still on uneven surface, there is a designated parking space for visitors with mobility challenges to use at the picnic area on the river’s edge.
Pet Friendly Notes
Pets on leash are allowed. Please be aware this is a natural area, frequented by a variety of wildlife. Please watch your pets to keep them safe, and do not allow them to harass wildlife.
Please remember to clean up after your pet, as water quality can be impacted by pet waste. Mutt mitts are usually available in the parking lot area for visitor convenience. Be sure to leave the Verde River clean and healthy for others to enjoy as well!