Willow Creek - Mogollon Rim, AZ | HikeArizona
 This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.
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Willow Creek - Mogollon Rim, AZ

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Camino Campana Trail
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 9.98 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,808 feet
Elevation Gain -483 feet
Accumulated Gain 540 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 11.78
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
16  2022-05-12 kingsnake
Author
author avatar Guides 103
Routes 262
Photos 9,788
Trips 768 map ( 7,054 miles )
Age 60 Male Gender
Location Sunnyslope, PHX
Associated Areas
list map done
Payson Region
Historical Weather
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Preferred May, Oct, Sep, Apr → 7 AM
Sun  6:16am - 6:12pm
Official Route
 
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Water
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 1964 Loop2.3 mi*
Nearby Area Water
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by kingsnake

 Likely In-Season!
Overview: The head of Willow Creek is between Promontory Lookout and Carr Lake, on the Mogollon Rim. Willow Creek heads north past the Rancho Allegro site, through Bennet Butler Ranch, over Pauls Crossing at FR 84, until seven miles later it empties into Bear Canyon at Mule Crossing on FR 89. Note: Willow Creek is not the same as Willow Springs Canyon, which is 7½ miles southeast.


From FR 34 / Wallace Rd., FR 9443 descends 50 rocky feet to a trail split. Go right. Just over a mile into the hike, there was a log blocking the road, but it is sawed through, and in any case, routed around. That is where you drop 120 steep, but mostly obstacle-free, feet down to Willow Creek.

Angling right on the way down brings you to Bennet Butler Ranch's north gate. You may either follow Willow Creek's shelf or decommissioned FR 9419A which is immediately adjacent.


A mile north, the jeep trail splits: Left to stay on FR 9419A, right for a short loop (4.2 mi., 290 AEG) out of the canyon, back on FR 9443. A ¼ mile past the split, FR 9419A peters out. There are also bail points / shorter loop options at the power line (7.2 mi., 430 AEG) and a foot trail up to Ives Mesa Tank (8.5 mi., 490 AEG).

After the FR 9419A split, the next 2½ miles north has some rocky spots and minor deadfall, but plenty of shelves, so the travel never gets difficult. There are fewer, smaller, pools. The canyon never gets too deep, nor too steep. Certainly no cliffs.


After hiking 4¾ miles this hike reaches Paul's Crossing. Turn east, uphill, on FR 84. After 300 yds., FR 9443 is on the right.

There are downfall roadblocks all along FR 9443. Easily avoided by humans, not so much by vehicles.

FR 9443 winds south four often rocky miles back to the drop-in point, and five to the trailhead. FR 9443 is generally mid-slope above Willow Creek: It never gets more than 100 yds. away, and 80 ft. upslope, of the canyon bottom. So, if you are not near one of the bail points I mentioned earlier, bailing would never be too difficult.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2022-05-14 kingsnake

    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.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
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    Road
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Phoenix, head north on AZ-87, the Beeline Highway, into Payson. Turn right on AZ-260. In 29 miles, after cresting the Mogollon Rim, take the first left onto FR 300 / Rim Rd. In 3.2 miles, at the Woods Canyon Lake intersection, Rim Rd. changes to car-drivable dirt. 9.4 miles from AZ-260 is a t-intersection. Turn right onto FR 34. In a half-mile, just past FR 34B, there is a small, rough, unsigned jeep trail on the left. Pull in there, and park at the fire ring.
    page created by kingsnake on May 14 2022 3:50 pm
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