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Calloway Trail #33, AZ

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Guide 42 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Clints Well W
4.4 of 5 by 14
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 6,540 feet
Elevation Gain 700 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 4.5
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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11  2018-06-28
West Clear Creek - Calloway to Tule
19  2014-06-20 ALMAL
25  2013-07-23
Wilbur Canyon
6  2013-04-28
Dirty Snake Trail #76
5  2012-08-31 stacelms
56  2011-08-28
Wilbur Canyon
13  2011-07-19 trixiec
20  2011-07-19 CannondaleKid
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author J&SHike
author avatar Guides 5
Routes 0
Photos 71
Trips 4 map ( 69 miles )
Age 45 Male Gender
Location Prescott, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Jun, Sep, Oct → 7 AM
Seasons   Early Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:07am - 6:36pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Culture Nearby
The heart of West Clear Creek
by J&SHike

Likely In-Season!
Gaining access to the trail head is perhaps the hardest part of the Calloway Trail. Although, after descending 700 ft. in a half mile of trail, the canyon bottom offers challenges of its own.

The Calloway Trail takes you into the central portion of West Clear Creek. Rewarding you with its twisting path downstream to serenity, solitude and canyoneering fun. Coconino sandstone walls encase the lush canyon. The clear cold water invites only the hardiest canyoneers.

Once on the canyon floor you will find yourself at a very shallow part of the creek. Don't be fooled, deeper water awaits downstream. Some of which can be avoided by finding the rudimentary trail that peaks out here and there. We did this as a day hike so we didn't get to go as far as we would've liked, but as for pure canyon splendor, this part of West Clear Creek Rocks!

For the hardcore adventurous types, this trailhead is a good staging point for through treks to Bull Pen or upstream to the Maxwell #37, and Tramway #32 trail heads, or even up to the headwaters of West Clear Creek, Clover Creek and Willow Valley. Mind you you'll be out a week for either of these treks.

Canyon wildlife abounds here, supporting everything from the abundant crawdads, trout, lizards and birds to mountain lion and bear. As with any remote canyon area be careful, rocks here are slippery. If you get injured down in here, you'll have a ways to go to get help or medical attention due to the back roads and the canyon itself. As always pack out what you pack in and pack out any garbage that you see. Please don't build fire rings and scorch the awesome coconino sandstone like some idiot did down here and destroy fire rings if you see them anywhere. They become trash cans for more stupid people. "Boy these beer cans sure are heavier when they're empty, better leave em' here in this fire ring along with the cigarette butts so the forest service trash collection can pick it up." Enough said, have fun and take care of yourself and the canyon.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2003-06-26 J&SHike

    Coconino FS Details
    The Calloway Trail starts at the north end of the parking area where it affords a good view into the steep-walled canyon of West Clear Creek. Some of the rock strata visible from the rim includes limestone laid when the area was covered by a shallow sea, and sandstone, the result of deposition as ocean sediment and eolian (windblown) accumulation. Notice the cross-bedding apparent in the wind-deposited sandstone. The vegetation on the north-facing slope of Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, and Gambel oak stands in contrast to the vegetation on the hotter and drier south-facing slope across the canyon. Once at the bottom of the canyon, it is possible to access areas up and down stream by wading and boulder hopping. The vegetation near the creek consists of riparian species such as cattails, locust, wild grape, willow, box elder and poison ivy. Learn to identify and avoid this three-leaved plant. The creek provides habitat for suckers, blue gill, and trout.

    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 of 16 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Calloway Trail #33
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This is my first log so apologies if I'm missing something. I selected Calloway trail but this is for a section hike from Calloway to Bull Pen from June 29- July 1. If it hasn't been mentioned already, the flooding that occurred earlier this year has dramatically changed a lot of the "trail" that was in existence. In some sections, rock from small gravel to large boulders has covered the previously easily hiked areas, and now requires plenty of boulder hopping or switching to slippery creek wading. It's challenging to say the least and frustrating AF at it's worst. While the landscape has changed, I won't say the beauty has diminished in WCCW. I love this area!
    Some quick notes about well known spots. Hanging Gardens, while still intact, had been pretty well scrubbed of the hanging ferns that leant to it's verdant beauty. There was already evidence of new growth, so that's encouraging. The rope swings and other familiar logs have all been washed out. Tons of gravel has been left behind on the "beach" area which may or may not be to one's liking. Might make it a bit easier to set up some comfy spots to sit right at the water. Indian Maiden Falls remains most intact with the exception of a few trees down on the north side of the falls.
    Trip highlights included seeing 3 rams on the way down to HG, right after the last curve right and just before the feature. I have never seen them down there before and never up close like that ever in my life. Quite thrilling.
    We had not done anything too far upstream of the HG put in before, so finding some beautiful spots for swimming and potentially great campsites was a plus.
    My plan is hit up Clover Creek and hike all the way down to Calloway to sorta "complete" a thru hike. Eventually I'll add Willow Creek to close out hiking every spot I'm capable of in the canyon. It was a grueling but highly rewarding adventure!
    Calloway Trail #33
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Sooo, Ken and I originally had a Backpack Trip planned, but when he suggested something Technical with Car Camping instead, I was all over it... :DANCE: We tossed around some ideas and came up with a plan...Day 1, we would meet up and do Wilbur Canyon...Ken has done this one before and was confident that I could handle it, so it was on... :D

    We met up in Camp Verde and drove on up...Left my Vehicle and continued in Ken's to the Calloway TH...Got geared up, Ken showed me a couple of things about my new Gear and built me a Prusik and a Safety Tether. Then I gave him a Photo 101 session with my new Waterproof Camera... :D And then we were off...

    Hiked over and dropped into Wilbur and followed it down...Started running into Water fairly early and after a bit, it was actually flowing...The Monsoons have been good to this area... :) Canyon started to tighten up and the fun really started...A few small Rappels and a couple of tricky Downclimbs and then we were into the Narrows...It was incredible...And the Rappelling began in earnest... :y: Ken went first so he could belay me from below and I followed...Had a little trouble on one and hit a big learning curve, complete with a little loss of Skin and Bone...Why is it that when you hit a Rock, it's never on a "meaty" part of the Body??? :sweat: :sl: Had a big Mental Block on a Downclimb too, although it turned out fine, it just took me awhile to figure it out and get past some trepidation...I've never done this type of "Downclimbing" before and it's going to be a matter of just getting more experience I think, plus some Boost in Confidence, both in myself and my Gear... ;) Ken was more than patient... : app : Learned quite a bit on this Trip and it was an awesome Canyon... :)

    Before we knew it, we were in West Clear Creek...Clouds were building, so after a Break we headed down the Creek towards the Calloway Trail. The first 3/4 mile or so wasn't bad, as we only had to do some minor Bushwacking and had a Trail to follow most of the way.

    The last 1 1/2 Miles of Creek was a whole different story...It pretty much kicked my A**! Knee Deep Water paved with small Boulders covered in Slime...There was just no keeping your footing...Ken's pace slowed to about 1 MPH, while mine was about half that... :sweat: You began to wish for 1 of 3 things...Chest High or Deeper Water, Shallow Water with exposed Rock, or Gravel/Sand Bars or at least Spots...Every great once in awhile, your Wish came true and it was a huge Relief, but it was very, very rare... :sweat: Then, the Sky got dark and added insult to injury, making the Water dark, so you could no longer see where you were stepping...I lost count of how many times I just flat out fell...And the Falls were neither Graceful or Painless... :sweat: That Mile and a Half of Creek beat me up more than any other Hike/Trip I've ever done... :stretch: I love West Clear Creek. It is Beautiful. But when you're trying to make Time through it, it can be downright Brutal.... :sl: I have never been so happy to see a Trail in my entire Life!!! I didn't even care that it was the start of a steep Uphill, I was finally out of that Creek... :sweat:

    Started to Rain as we ascended up Calloway...I told Ken I'd meet him at the Jeep, I knew I was in for a slow go of it...I was toast...But I made it, fueled in part by the now fairly close Lightning and the Rain...Drove out in some serious, serious Mud and finally got back to my Escape and then went and set up Camp, in the Dark... :sweat: Luckily, it had quit Raining by then...After medicating heavily with Ibuprofen and Wine, I decided that it had still been a Great Day! :lol:

    Got up to partly Cloudy Skies in the Morning which was not a good sign...We had another Canyon planned, but after some delays we decided that it was too late to start one...Good thing too, because the Skies opened up by 11:30 A.M. and the Deluge never quit...By 12:30, the Forest Roads were literally Rivers...It had to have been Raining at the Rate of 2" an Hour and it just wouldn't quit...Soooo glad that we were not in a Canyon at that point!!!! They had to have been Flashing!!!

    Trying to set up another Camp and attempting to stay dry was looking pretty impossible. The Weather Forecast wasn't looking much better for the next day either, so we decided to cut the Trip short and head back to town...The Canyons will still be there and the Weather will be better, so we'll save them for another Day... :)

    Thanks for taking me down Wilbur, Ken! It really was awesome!!! Looking forward to the next one!!! : app : :y:
    Calloway Trail #33
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    "So hot...must...swim!"

    I battled the west end of FR 142, with thoughts of White Box and Hanging Gardens, but gave up on that...kinda need my oil pan intact. I tried a different approach, then decided to hike the Calloway Trail instead. After taking the wrong road and some 4wd fun, I stumbled onto FR 142B and drove it for a bit before deciding to just hike it. I hiked around the West Clear Creek rim on some primitive roads, exploring for a bit before off-trailing it over to the trailhead...

    Calloway's beautiful forest canopy and steep, slippery descent were the same as I'd remembered, having hiked this as a 7 year old with my dad. The childhood memory of hiking with him here brought a smile. My camera attempted suicide at one point, falling out of its case and tumbling down the canyonside, bouncing off of logs. West Clear Creek has probably never heard such profanity! Canon makes a tough camera, I concluded, as there was no damage. :o

    At the bottom of the canyon, paradise greeted me. Light rain began to fall. I dropped my pack and climbed into a nice little pool, while enjoying a cold Diet Pepsi and cookies. I roamed the canyon bottom for a bit before reluctantly leaving this wonderful place.

    Driving out in the dark over a rocky rollercoaster, I emerged onto the highway in time for dozens of texts from work to bring me back to an unwelcome reality. Nature, you are a wonderful refuge.
    Calloway Trail #33
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Always fun to check out new ways to access fabulous West Clear Creek, although how Joe finds these obscurities I'll never know. Dropped down Calloway #33, thrashed upstream about a mile and climbed 600' directly up the ridge to the north rim and Snake Tank. Never saw anything I'd call a trail, just a relatively moderate (by WCC standards) scramble up the loose, grassy slope. Elk were drinking at the tank, and it was very cool to see a family of elusive otters down in the creek.
    Calloway Trail #33
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I was trying for a big canyon on Mt Lemmon but my crew had to bail due to unforeseen issues, but thankfully I was able to jump ships and guide some climbing friends down this amAZingly beautiful technical canyon of WCC. :D This is still my fav WCC canyon and I was glad to share this sweet canyon with them. It was a bit wetter than usual but wetsuits were still not need this time of year. Some of the down climbs were assisted via handlines & meat anchors. That first official rappel that used to have a dead anchor is more safely rappelled using a horn in the rock wall 10ft further back. Some previous group had cleaned the first two anchors for whatever reason. Maybe they wanted to ghost the canyon or maybe someone bailed on the canyon and took the anchors with them as they left? Either way, this is a popular canyon in the summer and it's only a matter of time before some other groups comes along and reachors them. :roll: There were reports of vandelism of the moss, but either that was 'cleaned up' or it was somewhere off to the side and not that obvious. I was busy guiding my 3 friends & taking 200 photos so I didn't have time to look for hidden mossglyphs. :lol: The narrows were as amAZing as ever with rappel after rappel after downclimbs and pools all stacked up in a row. :sweat: Now while my friends really enjoyed Wilbur, they were not fans AT ALL of the bushy & slippery yet extremely scenic West Clear Creek. ;) I've been up & down WCC so much over the last few summers that I know very well what to expect from the rugged WCC. : rambo : On the hike out, I was misguided by the newly rerouted 142B and spend an additional 10 minutes walking down the old 142B to get our truck and bring it back to where the new 142B hits 142. :roll: On the plus side, the new beginning of 142B is in better shape and breaks off before the mud bogs of 142. Assuming you have a truck or SUV to travel down it. :)
    Calloway Trail #33
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    After hitting a canyon the day before, I camped on the rim while my buddy drove home, and the next morning met with another canyon buddy for another adventure in this also beautiful rugged canyon in the area. :D The first time I did this canyon two summers ago, I found it to be rather difficult but now with two years of canyoneering under my belt I find it to be only mildly difficult. :sweat: Start off by cross countrying along the southern WCC rim to drop into middle Wilbur canyon followed by plenty of rock hopping, bushwhacking, logs, and down climbing thru some sweet narrows until we hit the first rappel and need to gear up. :sweat: The usual deadman anchor is replaced by some webbing wrapped around a horn of rock that feels solid and I'd much rather trust that than a pile of rocks. :lol: A little further down and the main narrows cut deep down and starts off with a 80ft drop past a small keeper, followed by a 60ft double drop thru some canyon stew log jam mess, another 15ft drop into a deep pool with a large log floating in it that you use to make it into the keyhole slot, and then topped off with a super sweet & colorful 60ft rappel. ;) Below is a great sunny spot that I've stopped at almost every time for lunch before venturing further thru the tight narrows. Which start with a 20ft chute that can be rappeled, hand lined, or down climbed past a jammed log. This puts you into a chilly high wader, followed by another down climb into another chilly swimmer, and then the final 30ft rappel down into West Clear Creek itself. :D The water of WCC is so much warmer and it's quite eye opening to pop out into the sunny & lush main canyon. Unfortunately the adventure doesn't stop there and you now have 2-3 miles of rugged creek hiking to the steep Calloway trail. :sweat: Sticking to the side of the creek whenever possible helps tremendously as you venture along the ever beautiful WCC and thru a few swimmers to cool. Thankfully the steep Calloway isn't very long and before you know it you back on the rim walking the road back to your vehicle. ;)

    I always have a great time doing this loop and it's still my favorite WCC technical canyon! :y:
    Calloway Trail #33
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Calloway to White Box WCC
    Manmping: It's not a choice, it's a Mandate (but still in the just friends sort of way)

    Each year I lead some of my man friends on a journey into the wilderness. It usually brings a cacophony of the hardened and the soft, and the occasional, "My wife said I can go on this one trip this year, will I need a flashlight" types. This tale is of our 5th annual Manmping trip.

    The odds were against us from the get go. I already knew the group would be whittled down already from last year's contestants, so I upped the ante and pushed the trip envelope a little harder. Towards the end we still had 7 men on the attendee list, but that got whittled down to a hardened three in the end but that didn't hinder our 2008 trip so we kept the green light on.

    People tend to put a lot of trust in me in trip planning. But every so often it's nice to include yourself in the list of unknowing sheep, to plan to a point and then let the cards fall as they may into the winds of the adventure.

    Last year we dropped into the wilds of West Clear Creek at the steep White Box Trailhead. We established a base camp 700ft down at the bottom, then made the trek downstream through The Narrows and hiked about 1mile down to the beautiful Hanging Gardens, then back to camp, packing it all back up the next day. Still enticed with the beauty and solitude WCC had to offer, this year we decided to try a different leg of it and complete a section above.

    Our drop in point this year was the Calloway Trail where we planned to again camp the first night at the bottom, then travel with all our gear down to our camp from last year, exiting there on the third day. Mapped out as the crow flies, the creek had a little over 5mi of hiking to offer, except that crows don't have to walk on slippery rocks, cross back and forth, bushwack, or swim.

    Our first hurtle was actually the drive up. My Xterra started overheating almost right away in the valley heat at 3pm even before we approached the hills out. Instead of turning around we just turned up the heat and rode it out until reaching Payson.

    Our second hurtle was the fact that with only 3 of us, bringing an extra vehicle to serve as a shuttle at the end of our hike like originally planned was a $70+ extra expense. We settled on bringing a couple mountain bikes to help with the now necessary 6.5mi trip back to the Xterra at the beginning trailhead so we loaded them on the roof rack and strapped them down tight.
    The road between our canyon hike's in and out is bone jarringly rough even with the X's tires aired down. It took 50minutes extra just to drop the bikes of a mile from where we would come out of the canyon, then 50 minutes out to our drop in. By the time we parked at the Trailhead ready for our descent, it was getting dark. We donned our gear topped our crowns with headlamps and began down the steep trail to the creek.

    It was almost pure dark once we got down the 700ft drop to the babbling water so we wasted no time picking a spot to camp. With the canyon being so narrow in spots, you never know when a suitable spot will open up with flat unrocky ground to accommodate sleeping gear so we chose the first one we saw. We had great access to the creek, enough room for 3 to sleep side by side (once a few rocks were convinced to roll out) and an already complete fire ring. We gathered some wood, lit up our small tract and cooked up some doggers before laying down under what became a dizzying blur of stars above.

    Daylight comes a little late in the canyon so after waking, fed, breaking camp, and gearing up, it was 9 before we began our canyon hike. As with most of WCC, this stretch has no existing trail. It's a choose your own adventure type scenario where you might as well not try to stay dry for long because you'll be in the water soon enough. Sometimes the canyon affords you a shore to walk along, while sometimes the brush grows too thick to bushwhack through and forces you to rock hop along the dry rock tops jutting out of the water. When that option wears out you can try your footing in the water, although each step will almost certainly be a slick one. At this point you learn how to find purchase between the rocks, in the cracks, and in the sparse but precious traction giving gravel. That too becomes whittled down to nothing short of a slippery wade where the tubes that we brought served great as makeshift old man walkers that kept our weight off the hungry slimy rocks and holes beneath our feet. The last resort is when the canyon takes it all away leaving with no other option but an all out swim. We hopped in our tubes for these and threw our 30lb packs in our laps to help keep our belongings dry.

    Even with double bagging, anything in your pack is susceptible to becoming waterlogged. I used a drysack inside my pack to keep my unwettables and sleeping bag safe and added grommet holes to the bottom of my pack to allow any water that happened to get inside a way out to in turn keep it from adding to my pack weight. Let your pack sit in the water and it'll eventually add some weight anyway by soaking into the fabric. I was able to heft my pack into my lap as I dropped to sit in my tube and had the routine down pretty well as the trip went on. Jonathan and Chris double garbage bagged their sleeping bags but because Chris got the $2 Walmart tube instead of the $4 one, his tube didn't even support his own weight much less his pack as well. Luckily he bought two (maybe there was a sale?).

    Anytime you have to switch up your approach, or cross banks our route find, you're adding time to your journey and more distance into your pace. Chris found out he's faster out of the creek while Jonathan made his best time using his walker tube in it. We helped each other as best we could during our time together doing the male bonding and shouting loud words of "encouragement" along the way. We had hoped to make it to our camp from the year before so we could hike up the hill fresh in the morning after some leisure time, but all the bushwhacking and slippery creek progress slowed us down. In fact, towards the end of Saturday, we had made such horrible time that the GPS seemed like it never changed its 2+ mile ETA on our final routed destination on the creek. From the time we met the only two other hikers we had seen, who had camped down from the power line trail and tried to reach our final destination and then given up even though our total distance almost tripled theirs, until nearing our camp, we had had a tough time breaking through all the choked up brush.

    We finally decided after 9 hours of canyoneering the creek, we should settle on the next camping spot we could find and finish the hike on Sunday. Luckily one came into sight around the corner. It's a great thing we stopped there because we didn't see another one for a mile after that. We used the rest of the daylight to gather more wood and boil some water for our dehydrated dinner packs. We didn't stay up too long after the stars popped out, planning on waking with the official sunrise at 5:45 instead of when the light reached us down at the bottom of the gorge. The next day we got our breakfast on, then broke camp for another exciting hike into the unknown.

    The going got a little easier. We finally saw the large land point that we needed to get around at the end finally show up on our map display. Larger rocks on the creek became the norm and we made better time just hopping them and staying dry. Every once in a while we would find a game trail to hike along on the side. Our illusion that our steps were safer on land was shattered as we were breaking through some tall grass by the sound of a large rattlesnake a couple feet away. We missed our otter and ringtail friends this year but we saw their tracks and plenty of old crawfish meals strewn about.

    Somewhere around day three's three hour mark, we came around the corner to the rock slabs above the creek we had slept on last year. Excitement ensued and we went ahead and took a well deserved break and ate lunch and swam in the pools below. At about 2:00pm we began the hike up the 700ft creek wall and made it to the top in about 45minutes.

    After we stripped off our packs and lightened everything up to just water and a few snacks, Jonathan and I set out for the one mile hike to the bikes. When we got up the hill to where we had "hid" them, we found out that one of the tires had gotten cactus stung and was unusable. Refusing to give up, we took the one for me to ride on the short smooth stretches as Jonathan did his jogging thing. Because the road was so rocky, I mostly hiked along side him and the bike until we got to out last forest road turn which was a little smoother and downhill. Jonathan ran it while I tried to keep up while dodging the rocks here and there. There was a great breeze through the trees and towards the end, we got sprinkled on which felt refreshing too. We ended up making some pretty good time, covering the almost 7mi in 2hrs (remember our vehicle took 50min). We tossed the bike into the X and headed back to get Chris.

    After we were all loaded up as we had been on the way up, we headed out as the dark clouds began to get serious about their plans. A bright rainbow appeared backdropped by a dark wall of approaching rain. It hit hard while we were still on the dirt roads, turning them into double rivers. The lightning directly overhead was pure awesome and the thunder covered up Chris's pleas for me to slow down and stay out of the mud. Before we reached pavement, I aired the tires up in the downpour and then we headed down the winding 260 into Camp Verde for some food and caffeine.

    *I just brought the waterproof P&S on this. A lot less pressure :)
    Calloway Trail #33
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    So we were supposed to meet up with other canyoneers for a Saturday afternoon run thru Sundance Canyon, but we arrived at the Point TH at the end of 142E and they weren't there. They were doing Wilbur Canyon and as can easily happens they must be behind schedule. :sweat: My friend isn't experienced enough for just us two to run thru Sundance and I'd feel guilty dropping into a canyon not knowing if my friends are alright. :-k So we picked out a campsite along 142E and drove to the 142B junction and they're vehicle wasn't here. Hmm, maybe they drove in a bit even though I advised against it... :roll: So we walked in on 142B and figured we'd find their vehicle parked along the road nearby but about 15 minutes in we run across a backpacker who tells us he their vehicle near the Calloway TH. Ohh snap! :o So we walked the rest of the way to the TH to verify its their vehicle, hang out at the TH on the rim enjoying the sweet view of WCC, and wonder if they're okay. Hmm, they thought they'd be done around 2-3pm and its already 6pm and no sign of them. After about a half hour of sitting around, we drop down the trail and thankfully found them exhausted & waiting at the bottom for their slow member of the party to finally catch up and listen to stories of their arduous trip while laying in the cool creek. :) Once we were all together, we climbed back up the steep trail, said goodbye to them while they hopped in their SUV for an extremely bumpy ride out, while my friend & I road walked out faster than they could drive that road. :sl:
    Calloway Trail #33
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    What better way to enjoy a hot weekend than to drive up to the rim and drop into another amazing technical canyon! :y: This is still my fav WCC canyon, though this time around the canyon seemed considerably easier compared to my last few canyoneering trips... :lol: Thankfully the no-see-ums have pretty much died off for the season. :DANCE:

    I drove the car along FR142 almost to 142B where it gets too bumpy & rutted for cars and we huffed the rest of the way in. :sweat: Using the GPS unit, we trekked towards Bueno tank and then east to drop into middle Wilbur Canyon. The middle section is nice enough with loads of rock hopping, fallen trees to bypass, stagnant pools to avoid, and some light down climbing. When we hit the first optional rappel, I just thru the rope around a log and we rapped it. Some log jams sections and small pools to go thru and we used that deadman anchor that still looks solid enough and did that 15ft rappel that drops into a waist high pool. A little ways down canyon though, we hit the sweet narrows section and the real fun begins! :GB: It starts off with that 80ft drops with a keeper to avoid midway down. I stopped there and let Kelli rap down and helped her avoid it before hopping back on rope and finishing it. Right around the corner is that 2-stage 55ft drop with some treefall on that first ledge that has the potential for getting a rope tangled on. Just below that is that 15ft drop into a pool that can be avoided if you can balance on that log and with a little team work and skill we both avoided dunking in that cold pool. :D From that log we stepped to a keyhole ledge with another 60ft drop with a nice bolt to rappel from down to another pool that can be mostly avoided. This put us down into a sweet grotto section with some sunshine to warm up and grab a quick snack before hitting those 2 tricky down climbs/optional short rappels. We played it safe and setup short raps though both had cold pools below with the first being a waist high wader and the second was a chilly swimmer. We had avoided using the wetsuits so far and we were almost to WCC, so we decided to drop some clothing instead of using the suits. :) The final rappel was an easy 60ft drop down to WCC and compared to the pools of Wilbur the creek water was kinna warm and very refreshing. Once at the creek, we were doing good on time and decided to enjoy the amazingly beautiful WCC by swimming, sun bathing, wandering around soaking it all it, and ended up burning a couple hours before hiking out. :D

    Those 2 miles along the creek beat us up a little... We used that trail for the first part, but after that we hit loads of bushwhacking, slippery creek wading, slippery rock hopping, plenty of falling on our rears, and fairly scraped up legs even with my shin guards on. :roll: But we both kinna enjoyed the challenge & adventure of trekking down the rugged middle WCC and eventually reached the Calloway Trail to make the quick & steep climb back to the rim. :sweat: Once back on top, we enjoyed the sweeping views across WCC and road walked a few miles back to the car making it back around sunset to finish off yet another amazing day of canyoneering. :D
    Calloway Trail #33
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    I did the entry & exit for this canyon a little different than what Todd suggests in the book and I think I prefer my way! :D I got my car almost to the FR142 & FR142B (Calloway) junction and we road walked up 142B a mile or so before heading west to the eastern rim of upper X-Pine and followed that another half mile before finding an easy slope to drop into the middle part of the canyon. We hit a few extra down climbs and setup an additional rappel that aren't in Todd's beta, but it just added more to the adventure. :sweat: I hadn't heard too many great reviews of this canyon, so I really wasn't expecting too much though I found this canyon's narrows to be pretty sweet! :) The narrows start off with brushy 40ft rappel down to a pool & ledge of the dryfalls with a bolt to perform another 50ft rappel. Here we put on our wetsuits and did another 50ft drop with a very cold swimmer below and further downstream hit another 35ft rap just before hitting the WCC. Once at the beautiful WCC, we stopped for a snack break and warmed up in the glowing sun. :sweat: Once we were rested up, we rock hopped/bushwhacked/waded/swam upstream the amazing WCC about 1.5 miles to the Calloway trail and dropped our wetsuits for the steep climb back up to the rim. Once up on top, it was just a relatively easy 2.5 mile road walk back to our parking spot. :sweat: So I did the loop different than Todd's book but this way involved less road walking for us 2wd drivers and the extra bolt meant we only needed one 200ft rope. :D

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    Location: Southeast of Flagstaff on roads that are either paved or graveled and suitable for passenger cars in most weather.

    Access: Approximately 2.5 miles north of the junction of State Routes 87 and 260, turn east onto Forest Road (FR) 144. Follow FR 144 to FR 149. Turn left on FR 149 and then left again on FR 142. Follow FR 142 for approximately 4 miles to FR 142B. Turn onto FR 142B and continue to the roads end. FR 142B is very rough and requires high-clearance vehicles and occasionally four-wheel drive to reach the trailhead.

    J&SHike writes:
    To get there pay close attention to your odometer. From I-17 at Camp Verde head east on Hwy 260 past the Bull Pen trail head turnoff on up towards Hwy 87. Three miles before coming to Hwy 87 go left onto FR144. Follow this road 1.8 miles to the stop sign and the junction of FR149. Turn left onto FR149 and drive 1.2 miles to the junction of FR142. Turn left onto FR142 and drive another 2.8 miles to road 142B. 142B will be on your right marked by a big orange/red "B" spray painted on an old Ponderosa pine tree. Follow this road .3 miles to a gate, once through the gate close it and proceed another 2.3 miles to the trail head. 142B splits along the way about three times but is well marked. It's a rocky road requiring a high clearance vehicle, if muddy you might also need 4WD, but is pretty flat most of the way.
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