Deep in the Arizona Forest
Page stats reflect full the true one-way trail from the popular western trailhead to the less used eastern trailhead. The popular out-n-back hike from the western trailhead to the creek and back has nearly identical stats.
Looking for a "beat the heat" getaway? Try Kinder Crossing Trail # 19 in the cool pines North of Strawberry/Pine. A group of us went up on a mid-August Sunday morning and spent the day hiking, playing in the water and just enjoying the cooler temps.
The trailhead at the top of the canyon is well marked and points you to the right across a small meadow of fallen trees to where you will begin your descent into the canyon. This first portion of the trail is pretty easy as you gradually slope down the canyon. There is an overlook point where you can get a good glimpse of your destination point, East Clear Creek, below. From this point it sure looks like a long ways down! As the trail continues on, the terrain becomes a bit more rocky and the grade a bit steeper, the trail then turns into a series of switchbacks which are lined with boulders and large slabs of rock, all of which remained steady and didn't pose any slippery footing problems for anyone in our group. Almost before you know it you're at the bottom of the trail and are greeted by a picturesque creek surrounded by steep canyon walls, awesome rock formations and a beautiful little swimming hole!!
The trail continues to the left along the creek a little ways, and with some searching through the bramble patches crosses the creek. Here we found a couple of large webbed cocoons, which proved useful as markers for us on the return trip as the crossing is even less distinguishable from the other side of the creek! Once across the creek, several larger swimming holes offered even more picture opportunities and tempted a couple of our group members to shed their shoes and test the waters. WARNING: the crawdads in these waters were very aggressive and on the attack, make sure to count your toes when you've finished swimming! With the canyon walls and the creek on one side of you, the other side provided a campground and a large grassy pasture and what appears to be the remains of a house foundation, just enough to stir up the imagination!
Follow the little marked trail back to the creek, and allow several attempts to find that crossing and you're back at the base of the trail looking up at what will become the actual "hike". Sure you came down that way, it seemed short, remember? Well, the trek back up is a bit more work, making you glad it was a short trail after all!
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.