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Camp Verde Trail #545, AZ

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Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Camp Verde > Camp Verde
4 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Distance One Way 11.85 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,649 feet
Elevation Gain -423 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,314 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 16.23
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
9  2015-11-28 cactuscat
9  2015-11-23 cactuscat
6  2015-07-28 cactuscat
6  2015-07-27 cactuscat
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Nov, Mar, Feb, Jan
Sun  6:12am - 6:32pm
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0 Alternative
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    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Camp Verde Trail #545
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    545/136. Gorgeous day for hiking.
    Saw four people, four cows, and three javelinas ... mom, dad, and precious little baby drinking from the creek 20 yards down from where I was having a snack. :D
    Camp Verde Trail #545
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I set out on 545/136 again today with the goal of making my way down into Copper Canyon at the base of the big waterfall that I saw from the top last week.
    After I ascended the hill and topped out on the grassy plateau where 545 parallels 136, I periodically stepped to the edge above the canyon and peered down, trying to see where the side canyon with the big waterfall split off from the main canyon with the low-angle fall that I had visited and climbed several times before. During one of these scouting peeks, I spotted an occupied campsite in the main canyon. Got out my binocs for a closer look and saw a small campfire, a hammock strung up in the trees, and a red backpack hanging near the hammock. I wondered what this person was up to - figured it wasn't someone thru hiking the Gen. Crook trail, or anything like that, since they were in camp with a fire going at noon. I thought it was probably the guy I had seen walking along Cliffs Parkway with a red backpack on my way home from work the previous evening - he reminded me of David Cassidy (not the 70's hearthrob, but the current Grand Canyon river guide who is pretty well known around the Park).
    I reached the spot where 545 meets 136, turned right and continued on 136 to where it crosses a cattleguard and fence-line ... then turned off and headed towards the spot on the canyon rim where I emerged after climbing up from the top of the waterfall last week. Soon I found a path (sort of) that was leading me down into the canyon. It was fairly steep and slippery, but nothing crazy. After a few minutes I arrived at the bottom of the canyon, surrounded by pretty fall color and the sweet sound of the gurgling creek.
    I started upstream and soon came to a decent waterfall. At first I thought it was what I considered the "big" one, but that I had overestimated the height - this one was only 20 or 25 feet. But no, the pool at the bottom was smaller and I quickly spotted a fairly easy looking climbing route up the right side - I was sure that the big one wasn't climbable.
    After a moment's debate with myself (should I be climbing slick rock and loose boulders over a waterfall when I'm out here all alone? Sure, why not!) I ascended the waterfall into a lovely area of boulders and pools. I then continued up several more small climbs and scrambles until bingo! the "big one"! It was pretty cool, and I was happy to have reached my goal and seen it from both the top and now the bottom. The pool below it is plenty deep for a nice soak-n-splash, assuming it's still there when the weather is warm enough to make that a desirable activity. I also found a much more direct route to reach that spot from the rim, for future reference.
    After enjoying that spot for a few minutes and starting to get chilly (50 degrees there in the deep shade), I headed back down canyon, past the spot where I entered, to explore some more. It was a really nice stretch, and I noticed several good potential campsites as I went along ... though if I was camping and using the creek water I would use at least two treatment methods since as I have noted before this is major cattle country - even above the waterfalls.
    Eventually I found myself in the same situation I was in the other day on my Lime Kiln/Rattlesnake Wash hike - I wanted to keep going down the canyon instead of backtracking and going out the way I came, but wasn't sure it was possible. I figured that the side canyon I thought I was in would eventually meet up with the main canyon, and if I got cliffed out by another waterfall before then, I would just backtrack at that point.
    Eventually I was surprised to see a set of fresh-looking footprints also going downstream. Soon I could see that I was indeed approaching the top of another waterfall - and it looked kind of familiar. All of a sudden when I saw it, it dawned on me - this is the top of the low-angle fall! I was never in a separate side canyon at all - I was just higher up in the same canyon the whole time, duh! When I had climbed the easy waterfall previously, I hadn't gone far above it since the water quickly faded away that time of year, and the freeway noise wasn't appealing. This time it looked and sounded so different with the fall color and the stream sounds drowning out the freeway that I hadn't even recognized it. So my loop hike was a go - yay!
    Since there was more water cascading down the waterfall, I took a different route down it than I had previously - the route was easier than my usual way with all the water, and probably even without it. Once at the bottom, I knew it was easy going from there.
    10 minutes down canyon I smelled smoke, and rounding a corner ran into the dude in his campsite. I told him "I saw your hammock from up there", pointing to the top of the plateau ... he said "you came down from the top?" and seemed rather impressed that I had come down canyon from "the pool", as he called the big waterfall. For some reason he had an ice ax, and indicated that he used it to "hold on" descending the low-angle fall.
    Continued on my way, enjoying the easy stroll ... took some photos of the ruins of the Horn Saloon, which was the watering hole for enlisted men from Ft. Verde 140 or so years ago.
    Finished hiking exactly 3 hours after starting, feeling great, and with a new favorite local hike!
    Camp Verde Trail #545
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Hiked 545/136 again today - saw no people, and for the first time no cows. I dropped down into Copper Canyon near the old corral and enjoyed the fall colored sycamores. Last time I was here a few months ago I only found one or two small pools in the canyon ... today there was small but vigorous stream running all the way through. Most of the car wreck debris was washed away - and I didn't see any sign of the latest wreck (another person shot off the 17 and tumbled 200 feet down into the canyon recently, but I'm not sure just where). I followed the stream a little further down this time, until it stopped me with a 50 foot waterfall that wasn't possible to descend without rappel gear - very similar to the other waterfall in the next canyon to the north, except that one can be climbed and descended.
    Camp Verde Trail #545
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Same as yesterday only better.
    Wildlife sightings began before I even got there - as I closed my gate, a handsome coyote ran across my driveway ... I called out "Sinawava!" as a salute as he dashed away.
    A few minutes into the hike I crossed paths with one of my favorite birds, the Western Tanager - I imagine that even non-birders must be stopped in their tracks by the stunning colors of these beauties!
    Shortly after that I passed the only person I would see out there. Yesterday I saw two.
    The tarantula hawks were hard at work today, and there were also teeny-tiny baby lizards everywhere.
    I took 545 up the hill, then crossed over to 136 for a while. Saw a couple jackrabbits up there, then three quails.
    The good news is that I am finally figuring out the lay of the land - the trails out here are not well marked, and they are a bit confusing. I thought I was on trail 513 a while back, but I was wrong ... I actually did take it today - and it is one rocky, uphill, pumpkin of a trail that I cannot recommend. I climbed that beast for about a mile and a half before I had enough of it (and the gnats!).
    Two good things happened on 513 - first I came upon an adorable cow family ... black dad, brown mom, and two black babies. They somewhat reluctantly yielded the trail to me, and by the time I got back down to 136, they were already there and heading for the small pool of water I saw yesterday. Right before I turned around, I saw not one, not two, but three roadrunners hanging out together in an area about the size of a basketball court. I'm pretty sure I've never seen more than one roadrunner at a time, so the sight of this little family of crested tail-bobbers pleased me greatly.
    There was a good deal of cloud-cover all morning, so temps stayed reasonable. The gnats, however were super annoying - even after I applied OFF, they were still persistent and made stopping for any length of time impossible.
    I brought home a couple of prickly pear fruits, and later gathered some wild blackberries yum!
    Camp Verde Trail #545
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Started from Copper Canyon TH just after 6am, 70 degrees.
    Hiked 545 and 136 (Gen Crook) to Copper Corral, then explored down the creek bed for a while.
    Found one very small pool of water, a hawk, cardinal, summer tanager, snake, and remnants of a car crash.
    Back to the TH at about 9:30, almost 90 degrees.

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