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West Clear Creek Trail #17
69 Photosets
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Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking Apr 15 2003
Hiking22.30 Miles 2,822 AEG
Hiking22.30 Miles
2,822 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked descriptions
Partners none no partners
Beautiful hike for August. Not excessively hot, particularly near the creek.

Day 1: Started out about 5:30 P.M. from Bull Pen Ranch campgrounds. A little late, but what the heck. Rather than performing a gear float, I decided to do a bit of rock climbing to get around the one true obstacle of the trail. My roll of rope came in very handy, as I had to lower my gear down a 25 foot drop.

At some point on the trail I dropped a new $300 camera, so I stopped to look for it. Pretty tough in leaf-covered ground. Giving up at dark, I pitched camp.

My night was quiet except for the skunk that decided to keep a watch on me all night. After a night of little sleep (crunch, crunch, crunch went the leaves around my tent), dawn was a welcomed sight--I could finally get on the trail.

The next morning I looked for my camera a bit longer, backtracking to where I remember taking my last picture. Accepting that it was lost, at 5:30 AM I packed up and headed on out. My camera was laying in the trail about 20 feet from my camp. I estimated it to be further back, so I wasted about 2 hours for nothing! :roll: Needless to say, I was happy to find it.

Day 2: Nothing exciting like skunks or lost cameras today. The day went rather smoothly. The hike ranged from hilly terrain, to open fields, to wooded areas...the whole nine-yards. The creek was a welcomed sight on many crossings. Although cairns exist, I found that many had been swept away during obvious flooding in past months. Some were screened in at major crossings.

I had intended to spend another night on the trail, but found that my tent had snuck out of its straps. First the camera, now the tent! :cry: I dropped my pack and went looking several hundred yards back. No luck! Now, some might say, "so pitch camp without a tent," but being near the creek, I would have been eaten alive by bugs. So I decided to trek the rest of the way out that afternoon and evening.

The last 4-5 miles were almost all uphill. Each crest seemed as though it HAD to be the last, but I just kept climbing and climbing. With a 45 lb pack and having hiked most of the day...let's say, that pack is lucky it's not decaying at the bottom of a ravine . I made it out of the "canyon" at about 10 pm that night with about 8 oz of water left.

My recommendations: hike East to West, from the Rim to Bull Pen Ranch.

This is a very beautiful hike and I will do it again, having learned my lesson the first time.
As the light changed from red to green to yellow and back to red again, I sat there thinking about life. Was it nothing more than a bunch of honking and yelling? Sometimes it seemed that way.

--Jack Handey

2 Photosets

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