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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Flatrock Tank Trail, AZ

Guide 3 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
  3.7 of 5 
1 Active
41 3 0
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 5 of 5
Distance One Way 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 6,781 feet
Elevation Gain -763 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.27
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
4  2017-07-22 toddak
34  2011-07-17 Theodore_Bland_3
3  2010-08-14
Willow Valley
Author Theodore_Bland_3rd
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 0
Photos 47
Trips 0 map ( 0 miles )
Age 43 Male Gender
Location Tempe, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Jun, Jul, Aug → Early
Seasons   Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  5:33am - 7:31pm
0 Alternative

Drop quickly into Willow Valley!
by Theodore_Bland_3rd

Likely In-Season!
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This trail provides an alternate route into a section of Willow Valley, upstream from the headwaters of West Clear Creek and the Maxwell trail. It is steep, and route-finding is required! A few parts require some low-level climbing hand-over-hand.

From the parking area, proceed due west downhill into the trees. Cairns and a faint trail meandering through the forest should appear as the grade descends towards the canyon below. The trail abruptly turns right/north briefly towards a ridge, where you can find an old fire ring. At this juncture, a rocky but navigable slope will appear to the left, lined with cairns. Proceed down the slope, staying to the left at all times. A ledge will appear containing a faint set of switchbacks. Navigate this ledge and the switchbacks to a lower ridge and point facing due west, overlooking the broader canyon below. A good view of Willow Valley and West Clear Creek beyond to the west should appear! At this point, a clef descends to the right/north and the left/south. Descend the clef to the left/south; cairns should again be present but may be toppled from snowmelt/runoff. At this point, you should see/hear the creek below. Follow the best route down. A faint trail of descending switchbacks will re-appear at the tree line just above the creek. You should intersect a worn fisherman's trail at the creek that lines the east side of the creek.

Two nice campsites are just upstream, a smaller one near a swimming hole and a larger one in a dell of pines with an amazing canyon-wall backdrop. A fairly well-worn fisherman's trail follows the creek, meandering up and down the embankment, in and out of the trees, and crossing the stream every few hundred yards.

Proceed upstream along the fisherman's trail that lines the embankment. Within a short distance, you will need to cross the stream to the opposite bank. Continue following the fisherman's trail through the trees. Just downstream from a large swimming hole, you'll need to cross back to the original stream bank. Almost immediately, you'll enter the first campsite through a thicket of bushes on the opposite side. To reach the second, larger campsite, continue upstream along the fisherman's trail on the east bank. A fallen tree spans the stream in a very grassy area, where the stream bends 90 degrees. Use this fallen tree to cross the stream again to the opposite bank. Continue following the fisherman's trail as it meanders away from the creek through the trees on the embankment. Some of the most picturesque parts of Willow Valley are here! The embankment will narrow as the stream bends, and a canyon wall encroaches. Cross the stream again to the opposite bank, where the forest is thicker on the opposite side. As you proceed through the trees heading due north, you'll soon find yourself in a campsite secluded in a dell of ponderosa!

If you decide to continue upstream from this juncture, you will enter what is referred to as "the straightaway" of Willow Valley. This area is very grassy, and the fisherman's trail will disappear, along with the pools of fish.

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2012-03-14 Theodore_Bland_3rd
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To canyon trip
    High clearance vehicle needed as there are several rocky sections of the forest road. Proceed west onto Forest Road 122C at the gas station just south of the intersection of SR87 and Lake Mary Rd. at Clints Well. Stay on 122C for approximately 2.9 miles to the intersection with FR 9399S. (Be careful that you DO NOT veer right onto FR122 at 2.8 miles.) At the intersection of 122C and 9399S, continue straight/northwest onto 9399S for another approximately 1.7 miles to a parking area overlooking Willow Valley and West Clear Creek.
    page created by Theodore_Bland_3rd on Mar 14 2012 8:32 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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