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Clover Creek Canyon, AZ

Guide 19 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.8 of 5 
no permit
248 19 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 2 of 5
Distance One Way 8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,846 feet
Elevation Gain -1,800 feet
Avg Time One Way 6-8 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 11
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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14  2014-09-21
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20  2013-09-01 Alston_Neal
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Author toddak
author avatar Guides 8
Routes 5
Photos 1,195
Trips 457 map ( 7,248 miles )
Age 55 Male Gender
Location Puhoynix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, May, Jun → Early
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  6:55am - 6:21pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

Fun tributary to West Clear Creek
by toddak

Clover Creek Canyon is a challenging but non-technical canyon following one of the headwaters tributaries of West Clear Creek.

Some canyon sections are tight and narrow and could be dangerous in heavy monsoon downpours.

From the parking lot, go through the cattle fence and follow the creek along an old dirt road until you reach an old stone and cement bridge. Leave the road, going left and following the creek; shortly, you will contact a barbed-wire fence with a sign designating the West Clear Creek Wilderness. Directly across the creek is a huge rock overhang that makes a fabulous shelter in the rain. For the next mile or so, the stream gently wanders through natural, open terrain, often following faint trails, passing several sweet camping sites.

Eventually, the canyon starts to narrow - the next 3 miles are the tightest section, with some scrambling and working around boulders and fallen trees. Somewhere around the 2.5-mile point is the most significant obstacle on the hike, a division of smooth rock sloping down to a 5 - 6 foot downclimb into a waist-deep pool. Easy to negotiate to go downstream, it would be a bit more complicated if returning upstream, although we were able to use a log in the slot to make it easier.

At about the 4-mile mark, the creek turns sharply left as it joins another side canyon coming in from the northeast. The next mile or so downstream is open and relaxed, walking through grassy meadows and forest to the junction with Tom's Creek coming in from the southwest. Go right (downstream) at the intersection of the two creeks for roughly 3 miles of moderate hiking and pleasant wading to the junction with Willow Valley and the true start of West Clear Creek.

From here, you can return upstream 8 miles to the start. Better is to continue down WCC several hundred yards to where the Maxwell Trail will take you steeply back up to the rim on the north side of WCC canyon. There you can meet a shuttle vehicle to take you back around to the start via 9 miles of dirt on Forest roads 81E and 81 north to Lake Mary Road and then south 13 miles on pavement back to Milepost 285 on Hwy 87.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2009-05-28 toddak
    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
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To canyon trip
    From Camp Verde take Hwy 260 east then north on Hwy 87 towards Clints Well / From Payson take Hwy 87 north towards Clints Well. Before you reach Clints Well, at Milepost 285 turn west on FR 142. After 0.5 miles, take a sharp right turn onto an unmarked road (do not take #611, stay right) and proceed another 0.6 miles mostly downhill to the parking lot and trailhead.
    page created by toddak on May 28 2009 7:25 pm
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