by Stewart Aitchison & Bruce Grubbs (Falcon Guides)
A very long day hike or overnight backpack into the West Clear Creek Wilderness. West Clear Creek Trail starts in pinyon-juniper woodland. In a few hundred yards, the trail begins to descend into an unnamed side canyon to West Clear Creek.
Yucca, agave, mountain mahogany, prickly pear cactus, and other hardy shrubs cling to the rocky slopes composed of volcanic tuff and basalt. Other plants along the trail include Mormon tea, snakeweed, and nolina. Look for both white-tailed and mule deer and javelina. The West Clear Creek Trail drops quickly in 2 miles to West Clear Creek. Here grow Arizona sycamores, Fremont cottonwoods, and velvet ash trees. During the spring and summer, birding can be quite rewarding in this relatively lush riparian habitat. Expect kingbirds, orioles, tanagers, warblers, and wrens, and possibly the rare yellow-billed cuckoo or Southwestern willow flycatcher. Anglers try their luck fishing for catfish.
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