A high plateau, sloping mesas and breaks, steep canyons, and valleys
characterize the topography of the Beaver Creek Experimental Watershed
(BCEW). Elevations range from 945 m (3,100 ft) at Camp Verde to 2,602
m (8,532 ft) at the peak of Hutch Mountain. The BCEW is about 48 km (30
mi) long and 32 km (20 mi) wide. In the valleys the average elevation
is about 1,125 km (3,700 ft), and in the higher regions it is about 2,135
km (7,000 ft). Prominent features of the landscape are the Mogollon Rim
in the west-central part, Hutch Mountain 2,602 m (8,532 ft) and Buck Mountain
2,309 m (7,571 ft) along the eastern boundary, Apache Maid Mountain 2,227
m (7,301 ft) in the central part, House Mountain 1,564 m (5,127 ft) and
Courthouse Butte 1,647 m (5,400 ft) in the northwestern part.
(Figure 1 Map of watershed with prominent points: Hutch Mt., Buck Mt.,
Apache Maid Mt., Stoneman Lake House Mt., and Courthouse Butte)
About three-quarters of the watershed is on the Coconino Plateau. The
slopes are generally gentle, but there are a few mountains and buttes.
On the eastern part of the Plateau, many of the drainageways consist of
wide swales, where the direction of slope is indefinite. The western part
of the Plateau consists of broad, rolling and undulating uplands extending
to the Mogollon Rim. This part of the Plateau is dissected by deep, steep-walled
The Mogollon Rim and the breaks areas dominate the landscape between
the valley of the Verde River and the Plateau. The Rim rises about 60
m (several hundred feet) above the surrounding country. It consists of
cliffs, escarpments, and very steep slopes. In places it is cut by canyons
extending from the Plateau. The breaks and foothills consist of points
of mesas that project, between deeply incised canyons, toward the Verde
River, and of remnants of mesas so eroded that they are now low hills.
Stoneman Lake and its watershed, comprising less than 400 ha (1,000 ac),
forms a small interior basin that has no surface outlet.
General drainage of the watershed is towards the southwest. Dry Beaver
Creek and Wet Beaver Creek are the two major streams draining the basin.
As one may assume, only Wet Beaver Creek has perennial flow. Dry Beaver
Creek flows only during spring runoff or after major summer rainstorm
events. The main stream channels do not drop abruptly from the Plateau
to the valley, as does the intervening land; instead, drainageways cut
deeply into the Plateau, and their channels fall gradually from source
Williams, J.A.; Anderson, T.C., Jr. 1967. Soil survey of Beaver Creek
area, Arizona. USDA Forest Service, Soil Conservation Service, and Arizona
Agriculture Experiment Station.