Early on, a swimming hole … It gets cold when the sun goes down. The swimming hole is about ¾ mile up the creek and you can’t miss it. The swimming hole is cool and refreshing about 5 kms along Alligator Creek Rd. Near Trails. Once on the canyon floor you will find yourself at a very shallow part of the creek. You’ll find this swimming hole about 15 miles east of Camp Verde along West Clear Creek. It isn’t technical, just long. I discovered the hard way by hiking this one alone. Bring layers. Add Photo (s) Drop Photo (s) This page is a stub. In every corner of the state, there's a beautiful swimming hole to cool down with a relaxing dip in the crystal-clear water. Losing your pack isn’t really a concern, but submerging it will add weight; and if you haven’t waterproofed well you could be in trouble. That has changed -- the state bought the land and now you walk right across it. Nice swimming spots that are accessible exist along the first mile of the Red Creek Trail from the Laneville Trailhead. Emerald Pools Blue Hole. Near Trails. People know Camp Verde for its wineries and Out of Africa. This is a popular summer swimming hole at a bend in Clear Creek. Those comfortable driving at 60-miles per hour with the window down can experience pine scent in high relief, like the smell of smoke where nothing should be burning, as they wind their way out of the barren lands of southern Arizona. We go when there has been no rain for a few days and no chance of rain anywhere from where this creek starts on the Mogollon Rim down to where it meets the Verde River in the town of Camp Verde.Enjoy and please leave no trace. Splash, doggie-paddle, or float all day. Paper doesn’t run out of batteries.). And very few people willing to do the hard work it takes to get to the best parts. More Links . Mogollon Rim, Munds Mountain [Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino, and Tonto National Forests] Map, Quartz Trail, McDowell Sonoran Preserve – Scottsdale, Arizona, Tonto Natural Bridge State Park – Payson, Arizona, Maverick Trail, Brown’s Ranch – Scottsdale, Arizona. Given this type of terrain, it’s wise to look at West Clear Creek as two types of adventure: quick access for out and back hikes, loop hikes, or shuttle hikes that take one to three days; and through hiking or section hiking the entire canyon, which most hikers should expect to take five days. You are going to have to drive down a five mile long, pretty decent dirt road and hike about 2/3 of a mile along a flat trail to get back to the hole. While not a true swimming hole, Slide Rock is a popular location for people to cool off in the summer. Find the best places to swim near Clear Creek Campground. Park (pay fee) and follow a short trail down to the creek (you will have to cross an … Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Forget about Tevas, or even Chacos; your toes will fall off if you try to hike in anything less than shoes. Photo about A pleasant swimming hole in the West Clear Creek Wilderness in central Arizona. Walk the trails to discover this canyon that is rugged yet accessible and a great swimming opportunity. PHOTO . The FallGal and myself brought our 13 year old daughter along to fill her shoes. Getting to West Clear Creek . (34°33’28.7″N 111°25’13.7″W). Named one of the top ten best Texas swimming holes regularly, the Blue Hole offers great swimming in the crystal-clear water, as well as camping! To know Arizona well, a person needs to be familiar with the Mogollon Rim (pronounced “MO-ghee-on”) region of the state, stretching from the northwest corner of Yavapai County, halfway between Prescott and Kingman, to the New Mexico border. There’s an out-and-back trail that’s two miles long that will take you to the falls, and the best place to take a dip is about halfway through that hike. Your email address will not be published. To get here, continue east on RT 260 past the turnoff for FR 618 (above) a short way to a sign for Clear Creek Campground. As always, be careful as this creek can flash flood during Monsoon rains. Red Creek drops sharply in the steep canyon to provide swimming holes and waterfalls. ... about 30 kms west of Townsville, this is a popular bush swimming and camping spot. For me this is what West Clear Creek is all about. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Teague O’Mara/Flickr. Take RT 86 west, then: TEA CREEK [TEAC]: Hike from Tea Creek Campground in Monongahela N.F. Tumbling from the forested heights of the Mogollon Rim, West Clear Creek slices a deep, narrow gash through sandstone cliffs. Getting to West Clear Creek. Metzler Park (Clackamas County Parks) Contributors . About 30 miles west of Austin and 50 miles east of Luckenbach, this swimming hole in a spring-fed box canyon is as famous in Texas as Waylon and Willie. From either access point, you’ll walk downstream for about three miles, to the next trail out of the canyon. (It’s always advisable to have a paper map, even when you have a handheld GPS. West Clear Creek flows along the boundary of this desert canyon country camp and is a popular place for hiking, swimming, wading and fishing. It is one of my favorite spots. West Clear Creek Trail is a 8.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The back road from Phoenix to Flagstaff, via state highway 87 through Payson, combines the two experiences. Several portions of the river form narrows—high-walled sections where the river reaches from wall to wall—which are challenging yet gorgeous obstacles for anyone planning to hike. That was the only way we knew how to get there. West Clear Creek offers water holes for swimming, excellent fishing, and back country camping. Some canyoneering is technical, requiring advanced skills in anchor building, rappelling, navigation, etc. Required fields are marked *. You’ll get to see a nice section of the upper canyon, and a good swim. Its a deep remote canyon with a nice stream. West Fork Oak Creek Trail: Easy hike with a nice swimming hole - See 1,237 traveler reviews, 688 candid photos, and great deals for Sedona, AZ, at Tripadvisor. Cool water species such as smallmouth bass and green... Camp, Hike, Swim swim Swimming Hole hike Hiking Trail camp Campsite Take I-17 to Highway 260 at Camp Verde (in between Phoenix and Flagstaff). Almost all hiking south of here, until about five miles north of Bull Pen, is river hiking, which is to say there are no trails and you will be walking in the water. The scenery is stunning but the journey is challenging. You’ll come up to a natural waterslide that plunges into the swimming hole area. CLEAR CREEK CAMPGROUND [CLEA]: Nice Forest Service campground with a swimming hole in West Clear Creek. This swimming hole is fed by a few waterfalls, so expect some clear … It is around a mile or so heading down stream to get to this beautiful swimming hole. West Clear Creek I just took a three day two night trip into Clear Creek Wilderness in Arizona, with my friend Cliff. Ellery Creek Big Hole, West MacDonnell Ranges. Blodgett Basin Trail #31. Prepare for at least one hour of off-road driving in a high clearance vehicle. The Mogollon Rim, Munds Mountain [Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino, and Tonto National Forests] Map from National Geographic, Trails Illustrated covers the West Clear Creek Area, among others, and makes a good companion for your trip. It's about 10 feet at its deepest but swim around before you decide to dive in because some areas are only a few feet deep. Older guides describe the trail going around "private property". Hard to imagine a better swimming hole than Bull Pen, a deep pool along West Clear Creek. West Clear Creek Trail, Camp Verde. Green River Gorge Swimming Hole (H) Central Cascades - Stevens Pass. An ideal swimming hole for R & R-seekers looking for a cool city retreat, Austin's Barton Springs Pool is a crystal-clear, 3-acre pool that's kept at an ideal 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The waterfall is gorgeous, but it’s the setting and the remote nature of the swimming hole that provide the wow factor here. Like and Share. Bell Trail. Guest post by Brian Gruters. The most popular swimming hole is next to the Elizabeth Furnace campground, but it can be quite busy on weekends. (34°33’22.3″N 111°28’35.5″W) Watch for a cairn on the south side of the river just before the river makes a hard bend to the right/north (a note of caution: there’s no signage and rock cairns are impermanent structures, so it’s best to bring a map at least, and possibly a GPS with pre-set waypoints so you don’t miss this trail). To travel into this part of the canyon it is pretty much an overnight affair. You’ll come up to a natural waterslide that plunges into the swimming hole area. 179 exit on I-17.Drive about 9 miles from I-17 south-east on FR 618 to FR 215. West Clear Creek was always the most magical place in Arizona for this native son. bobcat (creator) You will know that you’re exiting the central portion of West Clear Creek when you come to Big Spring. 17. Credit: Strawberry Park Hot Springs Link Copied to Clipboard. Pack the sleeping roll for an overnighter at Beaver Creek Campground. Find the best places to swim near West Clear Creek Trail No. It takes some route finding along the creek and negotiating some slippery rocks once in the creek but the payoff seems worth it. Highlights of this section are the White Box narrows, a 70-yard swim through a corridor of ashen sandstone, and the Hanging Gardens waterfall, a mossy, drippy wonder with space for camping, about two miles south of Cash Tank. The single advantage to this method is cost, which is in the $10 range—whatever the going rate is for pool toys. A shallow pebbly beach entry is perfect for young families, and the deeper water will keep the big kids happy too. Go toward the campground and follow signs to the Day Use Area. These 10 West Virginia swimming holes are guaranteed to give you a splashing good time. The trees didnt have leaves yet and the water was still pretty chilly, but that didnt stop us from getting into the summer spirit. West Clear Creek is the longest drainage of the rim, winding for 30 miles and up to 2,000 feet below the rim. This will be obvious because of a large, picturesque waterfall smack in the middle of the river. Since you’ll be putting your pack right into the drink, make sure you stow everything. Balancing your pack on the inner tube is tricky, especially when the water is moving quickly. This trail starts at the end of Bullpen Rd and your adventure begins in beautiful thickets of trees and plants. Image of swimming, rocks, river - 2867133 The swimming hole is about ¾ mile up the creek and you can’t miss it. General Information Directions: Location: 53 miles south of Flagstaff on paved and graveled forest roads in picturesque Desert Canyon Country.. GPS (): 34°32'23.7"N 111°42'23.8"WAccess: Take the Hwy. And the solitude in these areas is magnificent. Turn east and drive about 3 miles to the Bullpen Ranch trailhead. The Blue Hole is a pristine section of land along the creek that has long been the go-to place for Central Texans looking for a picture-perfect Hill Country swimming experience. Contribute. Cool water species such as smallmouth bass and green sunfish populate the stream near the campground. This is the heart of West Clear Creek Wilderness Area. Take Route 55 west from Front Royal for five miles and then turn south onto Fort Valley Road. Take Highway 89 from Sedona to Flagstaff, through Oak Creek Canyon, and you will encounter cliffs, spires, and winding switchback roads that lurch up 2000 feet over a few miles. Rounded and smooth sandstone formations surround the waters and shady trees jut out of the rocks. West Clear Creek Camping: RV camping and tent camping is allowed outside of West Clear Creek Wilderness in the Coconino National Forest. Just don’t miss the trail or you’ll find yourself walking into a very long canyon. Blue Hole. (34°33’28.7″N 111°25’13.7″W)Source: USDA.gov From here you have options to swim, river hike, and fish, although the best swimming holes are deeper into the canyon. A \"trail\" appears off and on. Being a significant Aboriginal site, the area has a very spiritual feel. Tire yourself out? West Clear Creek Swimming Hole is a swimming hole on West Clear Creek in Mogollon Rim, Coconino National Forest, AZ. Driving up the I-17 corridor, however, you will see the transition from cactus to pine over a hundred miles. While they are all worth exploring, the crown jewel of the region is West Clear Creek. Lake Wenatchee State Park (KF, RR) Hidden Lake (H) Ida Creek Campground (CJ) Lake Serene (H) Eagle Falls Swimming Hole (CJ) Skykomish River, Big Eddy Park (RR) Rock Island Campground [dfp_slot_responsive:op_incontent2] Central Cascades - Snoqualmie Pass ...."From the trailhead, West Clear Creek Trail #17 follows a very wide maintained path. Leslie. The disadvantages are numerous: inner tubes pop or deflate slowly when poked with sharp plants, of which you’ll encounter many in WCC. Note from Cory:  Remember, when packing a map, make sure you bring a dry bag to put it in. This part of the canyon the travel is rugged and difficult and will test even the most fit outdoor enthusiast. To my knowledge there are no access point in this whole section (unless you rock climb). But, the water is cool and refreshing during the hot Arizona Summer. You’re going to beat them up. West Clear Creek Trail #17. Superb Article–Thanks A beautiful waterfall area near Helen is Dukes Creek Falls, and this is also a great swimming hole. In the fall, steelhead swim up through here to spawn. Click here for more information. It’s difficult to describe to someone you spent the day swimming in “The Crack,” much less explain that it’s in “Wet Beaver Creek,” but don’t let a dirty joke deter you from one of Arizona’s better and lesser-trafficked natural swimming holes.. I’m dipping my toe into landscape photography and wanted to catch a good sunrise hike to test out my new (to me) Sony A7II. This is a popular spot with an attractive kid friendly freshwater swimming hole and creek area. Remote solitude, with deep still pools reflecting canyon walls. Devil’s Punchbowl is a local favorite swimming spot and for good reason. Contribute. West Clear Creek (WCC) Wilderness Area starts in the ponderosa pine forests on the north side of the Mogollon Rim, about 40 minutes southeast of Flagstaff. Strawberry Park Hot Springs Strawberry Park Hot Springs. about 3 miles (each way) to swimming hole in Tea Creek . Loved your article – glad to see you writing! From there it’s another three miles to the access trail leading to forest road 142J and Cash Tank. Much appreciated as I’m deciding what part of the canyon to hike. Coconino sandstone walls encase the lush canyon. There are 40 fishable miles throughout the wilderness area. The swimming hole can be accessed by a 0.1-mile easy trail from the parking area. Since your shoes will be wet every night, bring warm socks, crocs, or something else light and dry to put on your feet. Chickamauga Creek Distance from Nashville: 68 miles Guests of the bed and breakfast have long boasted about the 40 acres of serene forest, Cooper’s Lagoon swimming hole, and … Like and Share. If non-technical canyoneering and low-impact camping is your thing, you’ll be hard pressed to find a nicer place to pass a warm summer weekend. This moderately easy to reach swimming hole is located about 15 miles east of Camp Verde along West Clear Creek. Tweet Share Email. There is an amazing swimming hole with a rope swing located on Meadow Branch of Sleepy Creek Just below Devil’s Nose. If you’ve been through hiking, that trail will come out of nowhere and be a very welcome sight. Bell Trail follows Wet Beaver Creek to one of the most sought-after swimming holes in the region: The Crack. PHOTO . May 4, 2012 - This is the closest we have been to a complete group on our overnights. The FallGal and myself brought our 13 year old daughter along to fill her shoes. Swimming through these sections is chilly work, requiring at least a basic idea of how to swim with a pack and keep your gear dry (discussed at the end of this article). Thanks for the valuable information. First Post - West Clear Creek - Tramway Trail This beautiful canyon offers natural springs, secret side canyons, and ample pools for fishing and swimming. Hike to the … West Clear Creek near Hanging Gardens is so remote and difficult to reach that I only saw three people during the whole trip. The crystal-clear waters of Blue Hole stay an ideal 75 degrees all year round, and are shaded by towering cypress trees. Again, dogs not advised. Here are details on how to get there. Clear Creek Campground Camp Verde, Arizona 40.0 miles E. West Clear Creek flows along the boundary of this desert canyon country camp and is a popular place for hiking, swimming, wading and fishing. A 2.5-mile natural trail with 20 stops and each stop is one of the native plant species. West Clear Creek. In those days, we never encountered any other folk–just lots of trout and deer–and all that magnificent scenery. To access upper West Clear Creek from the north, near Happy Jack, AZ, you should plan to enter on the Tramway Trail, accessible from Forest Road 81E, off Lake Mary Road, 7 miles north of the split from state highway 87. The West Clear Creek Wilderness, established in 1984, is a narrow but lengthy wilderness that follows the contours of West Clear Creek from its western terminus at Bull Pen Ranch to the headwaters of Willow Creek and Clover Creek to the north and east. Laurel Creek drops 80 feet, twisting and turning over massive cliffs into a corner of Lake Jocassee, carving a narrow gorge out of the bedrock on its way down. But this treasure isn’t without tribulations. It also has the added benefit of being waterproof, just in case it ends up in the drink. We are missing Doc since she is still in Colorado "learning" stuff. May 4, 2012 - This is the closest we have been to a complete group on our overnights. Plunge into the cool water for an invigorating swim at this natural waterhole near Alice Springs. This is the last exit from the canyon for about two days. Located in the Sumter National Forest, this swimming hole’s name is a portmanteau of the Chauga River and Ramsey Creek. Hard to imagine a better swimming hole than Bull Pen, a deep pool along West Clear Creek. He is an aspiring surfer, member of the Southern California Mountaineers Association, and likes to explore mountains and canyons. Do keep in mind that the water’s temperature here is quite cold, even in the summer months. There is also a nice (primitive, backpacking) camping area right by the swimming hole where there may also be a lean-to for camping without a tent. To float your pack there are two ready options: 1)  Bring an inner tube, inflate it, and set your pack across. This scenic watering hole near Aspen offers cliff jumping for the adventurous, since there are 20-foot rock walls surround the punchbowl. A well-maintained dirt track allows cars to drive close to this oasis, leaving just a little under a mile of flat trail to the creek. Trail. Bring duct tape! Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Emerald Pools. 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