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Long Canyon Trail #63 - Wet Beaver, AZ

no permit
70 15 2
Guide 15 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Camp Verde > North Camp
2.3 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 7.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,800 feet
Elevation Gain 1,821 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,912 feet
Avg Time One Way 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 13.87
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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23  2019-03-23
Long Canyon - Bell Trail Loop
20  2019-03-23
Long Wet Beaver - Bell
41  2016-11-18
Wet Beaver Creek to Crack
30  2014-05-24
Long Wet Beaver Bell Loop
17  2014-05-24
Long Canyon - Bell Trail Loop
13  2010-03-20 georgesteel
12  2009-08-14
Bell Trail to the Crack - Wet Beaver Creek
13  2009-08-14
Bell Trail to the Crack - Wet Beaver Creek
Page 1,  2
Author Ksorensen
author avatar Guides 8
Routes 0
Photos 0
Trips 9 map ( 73 miles )
Age 48 Female Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Feb → 8 AM
Seasons   Early Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:14am - 6:25pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
by Ksorensen

2019 Warning
After a few miles route finding required to connect with Bell Trail. Tread requires constant attention. The route requires map, gps or cairn navigation.

2004 Hike
This is a good hike to do if you've already done Bell Trail and like the area. Nearly all of the elevation gain in this hike is in the first half mile as the trail climbs the mesa at a very steep angle. The trail is very steep until it reaches a somewhat narrow ridge that leads more gently to a second climb up to the mesa proper.

If you have an eye for it, you'll begin to see pottery shards as soon as you reach the narrow ridge. Of course, you must leave them where you find them. Please respect other cultures and keep in mind that pottery shards, although fascinating when found on the trail, are not nearly so fascinating at home sitting on a shelf.

The views from the top of the mesa are not quite as awe-inspiring as the views from Packard Mesa, but they're outstanding just the same. Once you've reached the top of the mesa the hike is pretty much flat. With a good map and an eye on the landmarks, it would be somewhat difficult to get lost on this mesa so there is a good opportunity to go off trail and explore.

The vegetation on top of the mesa is the juniper and stunted pinon pine typical of the area. The trail is easy to follow, but other trails do splinter off from it so it's probably best to bring a map just in case. The trail follows closely enough to the edge of the canyon that you can amble a short distance over to the edge for a view at nearly any point on this hike. We wandered along at a leisurely pace, alternately hiking and then stopping to look for more pottery shards and habitation sites.

We had planned to hike this trail until its convergence with the Bell Trail and then come back around on the Bell Trail as a loop. However, we got a late start and took a lot of extra time exploring and goofing off, so only made it about five miles down the trail, and were forced to return the way we came. I think it would be possible to make a loop out of this trail and the Bell Trail, but you'd probably need to get a very early start.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2004-02-26 Ksorensen

    Coconino FS Details
    This trail starts upstream of the Beaver Creek Campground and switchbacks up to the top of the mesa providing glimpses of the Verde Valley and the red rock country of Sedona on the way. Once on the mesa, the trail levels out and affords a panoramic view of the surrounding country, including the San Francisco Peaks to the north. The trail trends in a southeasterly direction and climbs again to the top of the Mogollon rim. Once on the rim, the trail may be indistinct and thus hard to follow. Look for the rock cairns that mark the route. The trail passes by Long Canyon Tank, which provides the only source of water on the trail. Vegetation removal on the rim has left forested "fingers" that provide important cover for wildlife. Watch for elk, antelope, and deer in these areas of mixed forest and grassland. The trail crossed the road that runs to the east of Long Canyon Tank and enters the forested area along the edge of Long Canyon.

    This area was utilized by the prehistoric Sinagua culture and artifacts and habitation sites may be found. Remember that Federal law prohibits the removal of artifacts and the damaging of archeological sites. Leave any artifacts found for the enjoyment of others and take only photographs. The trail continues southeasterly following the canyon and crosses the north and south forks of Long Canyon before heading north to junction with the Bell Trail #13. Be sure to bring a topographic map of the area, compass and plenty of water when hiking this trail.

    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
    Long Canyon Trail #63 - Wet Beaver
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    Long Wet Beaver Bell Loop
    The Wet Beaver area has been on my list for a long time. Preferring loop hikes, I decided to tie in Long Canyon #63. Not seeing any published GPS tracks for the Long Canyon trail, I thought this would be a good opportunity to get one out on HAZ. I read about the lack of trails after the fact.

    The drive up from the valley takes you through the Verde Valley. We had some concerns when driving through here, since the winds at Slide fire in Sedona had changed directions and filled the Valley with so much thick smoke, it was hard to see and could be tough to breath if hiking in this. Luckily, the closer we got to our trail, the thinner the smoke got. We only smelled it a couple of times on our hike.

    We started our hike in a small lot just off FR618H, just down the street from the Beaver Creek Ranch. Joe tells me this is a house for Bad Kids. (First Hand Knowledge?) This is on the SE side of Beaver Creek.

    The Long Canyon Trail #63 (not the #122 which is also in Sedona) grabs you right from the beginning with it's uphill. The majority of the elevation is gained in the first 1.5 miles. At the 2 mile mark there is a sign that warns you the trail is hard to follow after this point. Between Rock Basket Cairns and Tr 63 Carbonite signs, we made it in 6.6 miles before losing it.
    You get some nice high desert views up top, as well as views into Long Canyon. With a drawn up track, we made our way over to the intersection with the Bell Trail and checked out the old out buildings. Joe got his picture taken by a Game Camera.

    The Bell Trail #13 at this point follows an old 2 track going to the NW....for awhile. This lasts for a mile, until the two track just ends. We followed the drawn track through what could have been a trail at one time for .75 mile until we once again had trail. Views the closer you get to the Rim in the NW corner of the Mesa are spectacular. I saw some new areas in the Wet Beaver area that I need to explore, east of The Crack looks enticing!

    Going down towards The Crack on the Bell Trail, we passed our first hikers of the day. Joe scared them off. We went off trail a couple of times on the way down, to get some views into The Crack area. There were a dozen or so people enjoying the water.

    I see why the Wet Beaver area is so popular. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the water and the scenery. Joe pointed out one area of Tafoni that was particularly interesting.

    We hit the short Wier Trail #85 to get under the Trees and get into the Creek for a bit. Joe played with a Torpedo while looking for his bolt cutters.

    We also went off trail crossing the creek, to get back to the truck. There were some red slick rock areas that would be fun to play in with more time. Joe played Tarzan for a bit and we made our way back to the truck.

    All in all, a fun day in the Wet Beaver Wilderness.... an area that needs some more attention, especially upstream from The Crack area.

    Short Video :next:
    Long Canyon Trail #63 - Wet Beaver
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    Long Canyon - Bell Trail Loop
    Bruce engineered this seemingly obvious yet rarely traveled loop. Aside from a couple hours of vicious biting gnats I enjoyed the hike. The stats are reasonable. Route finding even with monster sized caged cairns is challenging for miles. I doubt this loop will appeal to casual hikers.

    Long Canyon Trail #63
    Climbs vigorously up to a mesa. Look back to catch some nice views heading up. Our view included smoke over Sedona and hanging low in the Verde Valley from the Slide Rock Fire. The first 2.5 miles is medium intriguing. Then it turns into an ever increasingly challenging cairn hunt. Typical Sedona mesa zone... junipers dot the rocky ankle buster landscape with prickly pair accents.

    At 4.5 miles a sharp canyon edge intrigues dazed eyes. Distant Sedona views open up. This is where it turns into advance route finding. Caged cairns continue. Keep an eye out for sawed off tree limbs to hopscotch the voids. That game plan works for 1.5 miles. Just after 6 miles in whip out the bible and start praying. It's about 2 more miles to Roundup Basin Tank. If you are lucky you'll cross paths with a few cairns along the way. We did not witness more than a hundred yards of anything that could remotely be called a trail.

    Bell Trail #13
    Most only hike the very lower 3.3 mile portion near the creek. We tackled the middle third ( 4 to 4.5 miles ), I'd imagine only 3-5% make it here past Bell Crossing. Perhaps 1-1.12% knock out the upper third all the way to FS 214.

    From Roundup Basin Tank it's an old road for 1 mile heading down. Raiders of the Lost Cairn Hunt is back in theaters for two miles until you reach the edge overlooking Wet Beaver Creek. Albeit a steep ~1.5 miles down to Bell Crossing I highly recommend this if you enjoy sweet overhead canyon views.

    We finished off the lower portion taking in a bit of the Wier 85. It is a gem. While it lacks maples it may get a little more popular now that nearby Oak Creek has been torched. We hit up the undisclosed hidden secrets ( oops I posted a gps track ) to round out the loop.

    Fun moderate loop!

    prickly pair with yellow flowers for the most part, Palmer's Penstemon
    Long Canyon Trail #63 - Wet Beaver
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    Maybe not the most scenic terrain in Arizona, but linking Long Canyon #63 with Bell #13 makes for a good workout loop, with some decent Red Rock views and an always pleasant visit to Wet Beaver Creek. Up on the mesa, the trails are obvious within a mile or two of the rim but after that they are hit and miss (mostly miss). Overall, the navigation is fairly straightforward, but inputting a few key waypoints on the GPS ahead of time will make for more confident trekking. Dropping a mountain bike at the Bell trailhead will save the mile or so road walk back to the start.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    Ksorenson writes: Drive 40 miles south from Flagstaff on Interstate 17. Leave the interstate at the AZ 179 interchange (exit #298). Turn east under the highway and drive about 2.5 miles east on FR 618 to FR 618H, the first road past Beaver Creek. Travel 0.75 miles to the trailhead located on the right side of the road

    Location: 53 miles southeast of Flagstaff on paved and graveled roads in scenic red rock country.

    Access:Drive 40 miles south from Flagstaff on Interstate 17. Leave the interstate at the AZ 179 interchange (exit #298). Turn east under the highway and drive about 2.5 miles east on FR 618 to FR 618H, the first road past Beaver Creek. Travel 0.75 miles to the trailhead located on the right side of the road.
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