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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.

Avocado Canyon, AZ

no permit
68 6 0
Guide 6 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Clints Well W
4 of 5 by 4
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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Distance Round Trip 5.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,251 feet
Elevation Gain 800 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 9.5
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Seasonal Creek
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
21  2014-07-12 desert_boonie
33  2014-07-12 outdoor_lover
14  2013-05-26 azflyguy
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
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Jun, Aug, Sep
Sun  6:10am - 6:30pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby

Likely In-Season!

Author Full Detail Guide
Short and scenic canyon with 3-5 rappels max 130'. Drops in on the north rim of West Clear Creek. Exit 3 miles up creek on the Tramway trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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    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
    Avocado Canyon
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    2nd Time is a Charm...Last Summer Ken and I tried to do this Canyon, but with several Snafus in the Morning, we finally deemed it too late to start...Fate must have been smiling down on us the whole time, as within 20 minutes of our Decision, the Skies opened up and dumped at least 2" of Rain and Hail on the Area....

    It was time to try for this one again.... :D Ken and Mike picked me up Saturday Morning in Ken's Brand New, Shiny Clean, Jeep Rubicon...It wouldn't stay that way long...It was time to see what that Puppy could do! :DANCE: :sweat: Glad we had it, I don't think I would even have attempted driving to the Tramway TH in my Escape, even if it was Dry...Pretty Rough Stuff... :o

    I don't know why more people haven't done this Canyon...It was a Sweet little Canyon and the Approach is one of the smoothest and fastest I've ever done...We were in Avocado in no time and looking at the first Rappel shortly after...You can bypass the 1st and 2nd Rappels, but why? The 2nd Rappel especially was really sweet...Avocado is known as a "Dry" Canyon compared to others in WCC, but we still expected to get a little Wet, as there was normally a Chest Deep Wader at the bottom of the 2nd Rappel...Just another indication of how Dry of a Year we've had, as that Bowl was Bone Dry...As Ken said, we never got our Feet Wet until we hit WCC....Judging from the Rains that came after we were done though, I would say that that Canyon is no longer THAT Dry... :sweat:

    We hit WCC and took a Break...I tried to fix some Hot Spots on my Left Foot, (@!#$%&!!! Boots) but it wasn't to be and we pressed on soon after...WCC was beautiful as always with Cool, Clear Water and Wildflowers starting to come out in Full Force...With that said, the Creek can also be beautifully brutal when you are trying to get somewhere and there's not much Trail...The First 1 1/2 Miles had very little Trail to follow, so the Slipping, Sliding, Falling and intense Bushwacking commenced...It took us right at 2 hours to get to the Point Trail... :sweat: But from there, WCC relented and we had good Trail almost the whole way to the Tramway Turnoff with just a few Creek/Bushwacking Adventures...We did that Section in less than half the Time...

    At the Junction with Tramway, one of my Knees was feeling a bit stiff, so I told the Guys, (who were really smelling the Beer right about then) to go on up and I'd get there in a bit...I took a Break, imbibed in some Advil and an Oxygen Stick and recharged the Legs a little bit...And then it was time for the Climb out...I actually prefer these Steep, straight up Trails, to ones that meander on up forever...A little more Taxing, but it's over quicker as well... :sweat: As I climbed, I was really starting to smell Smoke and when I got some Elevation, I noticed that the WCC below me was getting very Hazy...Apparently there was a Fire somewhere to the West of us...I wasn't too worried as it had been Raining on us on and off through WCC and it was really threatening to unload now...I topped out, and had just enough time to get out of my Wet Clothes before the Skies really opened up...Ken had a lot of fun on the Drive out... :D

    Just another Great Canyon with Great Company in an area that I love...Pretty hard to beat a Day like that... 8)
    Avocado Canyon
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Finally we got ourselves over to this little less done canyon on the northern side of WCC. Mike and I met up with Pam in the morning who had already spent the night up there on Friday. She told us how the night was and how the roads seemed to look. The road in all the way to the Tramway TH didn't bother me one bit as I had my new toy to play with. But it is a rocky unmaintained path and for those without clearance should not even try to get there. Rain on the way out made it so much fun. :)

    The canyon itself it pretty short, hardly any water in it at all, I don't think we got our feet wet until we reached WCC. We did all 5 rappels which made the day great. At the base of the second rappel in what would normally be a shallow pool, Mike found a gear bundle that had probably been underwater for some time. Too bad he cannot use any of it. Some amazing views towards the exit as you start to see where WCC is. The last rappel of this canyon was the best, and would be amazing if you could ever do it with some running water down the wall.

    Into WCC and now for the hardest part of the day. Getting back to the Tramway trail. The skies above us started to get dark and sure enough it was Groundhog Day again. Pouring rain on us while in WCC. I swear every summer this has happened to us, but it's all good. Once up the Tramway trail we were offered some amazing views as the clouds rolled over the canyon, some lightning in the distance gave us a thrill. Pam got back up just as it was about to rain again so she did a quick change and off we went back out. Man that rocky muddy road was fun.

    Another good adventure in the books.
    Avocado Canyon
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Avocado canyon goes for about .8 miles of decent elk trail, not bad at all. Then you reach the technical section lasting about 0.1 miles. I found a 12 ft, followed by a 25 ft. These two can probably be bypassed on right. After this I got to a portion where there was no apparent anchor, so I bypassed a drop of perhaps 50 ft. After climbing around I did the next rap of 40 ft, followed shortly after by the final rap of 133 ft. Then another 0.1 miles of bushwhacking to reach WCC. The canyon was entirely dry so I was grateful to be able to dunk and cool off in the cool waters. The hiking up WCC isn't too bad in this section as there is enough traffic to maintain a trail in most sections. Encountered some backpackers near Bear, and another group near the awesome spring in WCC just upstream from Sundance I've never seen before. Some climbers scaling a nice dihedral a little up-creek of them. Seemed pretty relaxed and uncrowded considering the summer heat. It began to thunder but no rain ever materialized. I hung out awhile not wanting to leave before I headed up Tramway, trying to figure out why I can never find the cable at the bottom, but it definitely still runs down from the top. Now I think I can say I've completed all of WCC from Maxwell tank all the way down to the Avocado outlet.

    WCC is an awesome paradise during the hot AZ summers.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To canyon trip
    Access: From Happy Jack Ranger Station, follow Forest Highway 3 (Lake Mary Road) south 7.5 miles to Forest Road (FR) 81. Go right (west) on FR 81 approximately 4 miles to the junction of FR 81 and FR 81E. Go left on FR 81E and go approximately 4 miles to FR 693. Take FR 693 and follow signs to the trailhead. High clearance vehicles are required and the road may not be passable during wet weather. From Clints Well (junction of State Route 87 and the FH-3) drive north on FH-3 approximately 7 miles to FR 81. Turn left (west) and proceed as above.
    page created by azflyguy on May 29 2013 8:24 am
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