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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.

Kinder Crossing Trail #19 - East Access, AZ

no permit
61 7 0
Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Clints Well
3.5 of 5 by 6
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Distance One Way 1.95 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,903 feet
Elevation Gain -535 feet
Accumulated Gain 584 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 3.9
Interest Perennial Creek
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
8  2016-09-05
Kinder Crossing Trail #19
14  2016-07-16
ECC Blue Ridge to Horse Crossing Loop
39  2015-05-29 ALMAL
22  2014-08-09
Kinder Horse Loop
15  2012-07-07
East Clear Creek Kinder Loop
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   Oct, May, Apr, Sep
Sun  6:12am - 6:23pm
4 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Culture Nearby

Likely In-Season!
For the more popular west trailhead for Kinder Crossing Trail #19 please see this page. The east access described here is much more difficult to get to and leads to the same destination, just from the other side of East Clear Creek canyon.

The east trailhead begins at the end of Forest Road 9723S. It heads quickly and steadily down toward East Clear Creek on a rocky, but easy to follow 1/2 mile of trail that is cut just below the ridge. At the bottom, the trail turns to the left and follows the east bank of the creek for 3/4 mile to the crossing just above a cascade and two pools. You can head back the way you came, or continue the crossing on the west side of the canyon as described in the official description for Kinder Crossing Trail #19.

Stats are for the full trail #19 from East to West. The one-way hike from the TH to the crossing is 1.1 miles. The creek is 470 feet below the trailhead.

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot

    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
    Kinder Crossing Trail #19 - East Access
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    ECC Blue Ridge to Horse Crossing Loop
    Two hours of breaks. That was the theme today. ;)

    I agree with Joel's description: the section of ECC from 95 to Kinder is probably the most scenic. We were able to bypass the swimmer on the cliffs on the left. Surprisingly there was nobody at Kinder. Or Horse. Though we spotted two people down that way later after we had climbed out of the canyon and were taking another break.

    We hit the Pokéstop at Moqui and enjoyed some suspicious lunch from Joe's duffel but were disappointed to find somebody had molested the disc at the old Blue Ridge tower site. Skirted private property down to the lake. It looked super busy, but it appeared most people didn't venture past the boat ramp, with only 5-6 watercraft between there and the dam.

    Speaking of the dam. Damn! Hadn't ever been down below it before and it's impressive. The flow in ECC downstream is the result of a single 3" pipe. Probably a required output as part of the SRP agreement. Luckily ECC has numerous seeps and springs along the way that slowly add more flow. The first half mile from the dam is an unpleasant bouldery mess. It gets better/typical after that.

    Nice to cover a 10-mile stretch in the creek today. Thanks to Eagle for drawing it up and driving, and to Joe for sitting in back. :)
    Kinder Crossing Trail #19 - East Access
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Kinder Horse Loop
    Nice day spent in the high country. Our original plan was to follow East Clear Creek to the north and return via the Horse Crossing Trail. We started hiking up the creek and found the vegetation very thick and difficult. On top of the that the creek was flowing high and fast. We decided to change our plan and make a loop using forest roads. This turned out to be a great option. This loop involved Kinder Crossing and Horse Crossing. We had to cross the creek twice and the water came up to our thighs. It was very cold, my legs were numb by the time I reached the other side. Besides that everything was straightforward. The trails leading to and from both crossings are in good shape and easy to follow. They're steep though. Nice day in the cooler temps!
    Kinder Crossing Trail #19 - East Access
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Kinder Horse Loop
    Planned on doing a loop utilizing the Kinder and Horse Crossing trails across East Clear Creek. From what I had read, I didn't expect to find a route at all on the two eastern trails, but was pleasantly surprised to find both trailheads signed and both trails well-marked, well-traveled, and well-maintained.

    I didn't remember there being so much water, but didn't realize how much higher it was until getting home and looking at photos from previous trips. I'm not sure where the water is coming from--it hasn't rained up there in several days, so it wasn't recent storm runoff, and the reservoir is nearly empty and is not feeding the creek. Whereas previous trips you could cross the creek by rock-hopping, this time required wading in water over waist deep and fighting a surprisingly strong current. The strong current resulted in a dangerous mishap to one of us, but I'll let him explain it in his own triplog.

    The roads used to make the loop connections to the two trails are pretty boring but go by fairly quickly. We missed where the trail crosses the creek at Horse Crossing, but managed to get across just about where it starts heading up the east side. I went back to find where we were supposed to cross and found the spot, but there is no way I would have tried to cross there. The depth and current made it unsafe. Where we crossed was a bit wider and just shallow enough to keep the boys dry. Which was important as the water was Colorado River cold. 9L and I both had numb legs and feet after crossing -- after just 15-20 seconds in the water. I know it was not over 55, and may have been in the upper 40s. That was very surprising to me for mid-summer up there!

    All in all a great day though. Better than the other hike alternative proposed for this weekend!
    Kinder Crossing Trail #19 - East Access
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    East Clear Creek Kinder Loop
    I've been wanting to find the eastern trail and TH for Kinder Crossing since my last attempt in 2010. Also wanted to see some more of the East Clear Creek area, because it's pretty special.

    I saw an old trail line on the MyTOPO layer that looked like it should be the eastern trail out of East Clear Creek. I drew it up in Route Manager, loaded it in my GPS, and hit the road.

    Funny thing happened (at least for me) if you make the drive to the East side of East Clear Creek, you can actually follow signs to the Eastern TH. :sl: . What a novel idea! The road you take to get to the TH does not show up on TOPO maps, but is very obvious in Satellite view.
    The trail I'd drawn up off of MyTopo was in an entirely different location. That'll have to wait for another trip up there to see if it exists.

    The trail down the East side of Kinder Is well signed at the top, Cairned getting down to the creek. If someone was trying to find this route going up from the creek, it would be near impossible without a GPS track.

    The views for the walkabout in the creek were superb. Green everywhere, water everywhere, high canyon walls with interesting rock formations, just a pleasant walk downstream going North. We passed up numerous top notch empty campsites and only a pair of fishermen for humans on our almost 6 mile walk in the creek.

    Most of it was actually not IN the creek. There were game/fishermen's trails most of the way. There were only a few spots North of Horse Crossing Trail, where it was mandatory to walk in the creek. I'd suggest that if you go, plan on crossing the water and getting wet. It takes less time than looking for a dry spot to cross and sooner or later you are going to get wet. Nothing was deeper that calf high.

    We found one campsite where someone had taken a lot of time to make a crayfish catcher and fish spear.

    On the Northern end of our loop, we exited the creek to the west and followed FR's back south to the Kinder Crossing Trail. Kinder Crossing is a special area down by the creek. It can also be popular with non-hikers in street shoes.

    I was glad to finally be able to find the eastern Kinder Crossing Trail and enjoy another day in the East Clear Creek area. Thanks for joining my Joe, and for not even once complaining all day.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    Begin at FR95 near milepost 300 of AZ-87, approximately 10 miles north of Clints Well. Travel on FR95 6.3 miles to the bridge crossing East Clear Creek. Veer left onto FR96 and travel 4.5 miles. Turn left onto FR137 and travel 3.0 miles. Turn left onto FR9723S (there is a sign posted indicating Kinder Crossing Trail #19). Travel 1.3 miles until the road ends at the trailhead. There is very little room for parking here.
    page created by chumley on Aug 10 2014 7:16 pm
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