West Clear Creek

Camp Verde, Arizona 86322

West Clear Creek

West Clear Creek Professional Review and Guide

"Extending east for 30 sinuous miles from the Camp Verde area, West Clear Creek is the longest drainage on the Mogollon Rim. Nearly 2,000 feet deep in places, this canyon system is a real delight to explore, for it features not only rugged beauty but also an interesting array of flora and fauna. A good introduction to this spectacular drainage is the West Clear Creek Trail, which extends upstream from the canyon’s mouth."

More West Clear Creek Professional Reviews and Guides

"From its origin near Clints Well up on the Mogollon Rim to where it enters the Verde River below Camp Verde, West Clear Creek winds for nearly forty miles through some of the most stunningly beautiful terrain in Arizona. In its upper thirty miles, the part that is designated wilderness, West Clear Creek is entirely canyon-bound, offering access to only the few and the hardy.

As it travels to the Verde River, West Clear Creek passes through soaring cliffs of creamy Coconino sandstone and vermilion Supai siltstone, which lend their colors to the narrows called the White and Red Boxes. There are hanging gardens of maidenhair fern, red monkeyflower, and scarlet penstemon. There are New Mexico locust, cottonwood, Arizona walnut, willow, alder, Gambel oak, box elder, bigtooth maple, Douglas fir, and ponderosa pine. Century plant grows high on the rim; Hiking trails at either end of the wilderness provide the only access to the creek. For the remainder of its length, West Clear Creek is a “swim-float” canyon. Some backpackers carry small, inflatable vinyl rafts and paddles; others stuff their gear into heavy-duty trash bags that trap enough air to float a backpack. This trail guide covers an area with 10.2 miles of trails."

West Clear Creek Reviews

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3/10/2007
Bull Pen Ranch on West Clear Creek The boys of Boy Scout Troop 329 went on an overnight campout to Bull Pen Ranch on West Clear Creek just east of Camp Verde, Arizona. Bull Pen Ranch is located in Coconino National Forest. To get there, you take route 260 out of Camp Verde for about seven miles. Between mile posts 226 & 227, you turn left onto Forest Road 618 following the signs for Bull Pen Ranch. After about two miles, turn right onto FR 215 and go an additional two miles to the end where we parked our SUVs at the start of the hiking trail. It was about a mile and a half hike in to where we camped. All around it was lush green forest with wildlife such as squirrels, fox, and deer. There were only about 10 scouts that went on this campout. They were six Venture, four Boy Scouts, and three adults. The boys hiked a half a mile until the trail forked. One way led to an old ranch house, which the roof was caved in and cacti were growing out of the river rock walls and foundation. The other way led to our campsite that was across the river. On this campout, we went to a swimming hole with about a 9 foot deep pool of water. All of the venture patrol went swimming in the 60oF water for about 10 minutes. The boys camped and set up their tents on upper river's sandbanks where the water would be during floods to minimize impact. The entire ground area was river rock and sand, it looked as if when the water level was at its flood height it was only water and then forest. We recommend this campout spot again to go to. It was a great time of the year for this location. Reported By Alex H. Troop 329 Historian
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4/8/2006
Sweet! Pounding downhill then a gentle walk through the creek then an uphill to remember. We did the loop in 3 days, but 4 would have allowed more time to relax. Lots of fish, so bring your pole. The trail is good, but walking throught the creek is better. Don't stop at Bullpen as it is full of locals, trash and drugs and alcohol. The vans were safe at the top.
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9/21/2002
Easy hiking down in the Clear Creek canyon. Parts of the trail climb the cliff sides for a good view of the creek. Be ready for water crossings because there are a few of them along the way.
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Trail Information

Camp Verde
Nearby City
11
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
7 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
3,700 feet
Trailhead Elevation
4,100 feet
Top Elevation
Coconino National Forest; West Clear Creek Wilderness Area
Local Contacts
USGS Walker Mountain, Buckhorn Mountain
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018