Once Tracey saw photos of this hike posted on HAZ this hike was put on the list for our third hike on West Clear Creek. With the normal "showers after 11 am forecast" thrown aside we set out early in case it did just that.
When we arrived at the trail head there were three other vehicles. Being a weekday we didn't expect to see any others, but then we were here so why wouldn't others do the same? Anyway, we were on the trail before 9 am... or more accurately, we were heading down the trail, and I mean DOWN. It was steep enough my knees were protesting within a few hundred feet. All I could think of the joy I'd have climbing back up, at least then if I fell forward I would have far to fall.
Arriving on the gravel "beach" of West Clear Creek there was a one-man tent but no sign of anyone, which we thought boded well for us. Since to the east looked like an early swim and it was pretty cool we decided to head west to start with. We continued crossing back and forth as the need arose, only one time getting wet up to the waist. Although we prepared for the likelihood of swims, somehow the murkiness of some areas didn't get us too enthused about that prospect. We continued until the terrain seemed to be more of the same of what we had experienced on our previous two West Clear Creek hikes, so with another hike planned on the east side of AZ 87 we turned around and headed back.
Although we saw nobody on the hike, when we arrived back at the beach the tent was gone. The climb back up went much better than the climb down, but we did have a few close calls brushing our heads on fallen tree trunks due to not paying attention overhead as we were leaned forward for the climb. After the climb we felt ready to take on a more level hike like we had planned for the afternoon.
I posted 20 photos here on HAZ and the full set of 70 are here:
Video representative of the hike is here: