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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Casner Cabin Draw, AZ

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Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Sedona > Sedona NW
3 of 5 by 4
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 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Loop 10.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,840 feet
Elevation Gain -740 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,100 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5-8 hrs
Kokopelli Seeds 16
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
3  2010-10-07 toddak
27  2010-08-21 Vaporman
10  2005-10-16 joebartels
Author nonot
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 236
Photos 1,969
Trips 476 map ( 4,511 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Jun, Aug, Sep → 9 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:15am - 6:24pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Mossy Mo'
by nonot

Likely In-Season!
Overview: A rock hopping trip into the West Fork of Oak Creek, with a single rappel

Warning: Check the weather to make sure rain isn't predicted. The canyon gets narrow in spots and could flash flood. For this trip, bring 20 ft of webbing, a 40 ft rope, a single rap ring, a harness, wetsuit, helmet, locking biner and rappelling device.

History: Published in Todd Martin's book: "Arizona: Technical Canyoneering"

Hike: From the car park just of Woody Mtn Rd, walk east along the old rd until you reach the furthest spot most will go. Continue through the fence and walk the rd past the tank and through the large meadow filled with thistles. After awhile the rd will split with the better rd heading off northeast under some trees and a vanishing rd going southeast towards the draw. Take the right fork and follow this rd until it reaches the draw and dead ends. Jump in the draw and rock hop downstream, look for good elk trails for the first half mile to avoid the worst of the bushwhacking, but after awhile you will be whacking bushes and climbing over lots and lots of downfall.

After about 2 hours the canyon opens up slightly and the floor turns into some nicely fluted sandstone. After playing on this for a bit you will come to a point where the canyon narrows. Put on your wetsuit here. You can bypass the first pool, but after this is a downclimb/slide into a swimmer. The water is surprisingly cold compared to its canyon neighbours. Get out of the pool and splash/wade through a few more as the canyon twists and turns. You will soon come to the only rappel in the canyon of about 15 ft. Though some may want to try to downclimb, I strongly recommend against it due to the slipperyness of the walls. Rappelling is the safer option. And though the pothole below looks keeper-like, it is not.

After the one rappel, you will likely want to leave your wetsuit on. There is still three quarters of a mile to go to the confluence and at least one more swimmer and a few possible waders. At about this point the moss becomes the canyon's predominant attraction. Those who brought cameras will likely get many good shots of the green moss contrasting against the black basaltic boulders that litter the canyon floor. Continue downcanyon: Rock hop, wade, and crawl over all the deadfall. It narrows down briefly in sections but is not sustained.

800 ft before the confluence is a downclimb into a mandatory swimmer. It is rather cold for those that put away their wetsuits early but is a nice way to cool off. When you finally hit the West Fork, turn right (upcanyon) and rock hop and rock climb (non-tech) up the canyon. **Make sure you take the right turn where West Fork splits into a branch heading northwest and southwest.**

The last half mile of the canyon features a good trail if you can find it. When you hit the bridge of FR231, turn right and hike the rd uphill back to your vehicle.

Water Sources: Nothing you want to drink

Camping: Numerous sites near the trailhead and elsewhere off Woody Mtn Rd.

Note: Spotting a car on Woody Mtn Rd at the West Fork TH will save you 2.8 miles and 1 hr of rd walking, subtract this from the stats above.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2011-09-11 nonot
  • wilderness related
  • Sedona Trails 2018
    region related
    Sedona Trails 2018
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
Casner Cabin Draw
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This canyon had some exciting moments, it was beautiful in the fall, you never see colors like that in the valley. I think we spent the majority of our trip rock hopping with wet slippery shoes, so I wish the narrows had lasted a bit longer. The area was burned in 2012 and you can still see and feel the effects. There was quite a bit of charred debri in the canyon, log jams were fragile and looked crispy, charred rocks were cracking, one of the pools we swam through was full of wood chips. It was like swimming through a flooded playground. I think the guide book said we would be swimming through 3 pools, I counted 5 actual can't touch the bottom pools, there are other ones that went up to our torso, or could be avoided all together. We replaced the anchor with a wrap 2 pull 1, and used about 10 ft of webbing around a choke stone NBD.
*** edit: I should also add that because of all the added obstructions due to the semi-recent fire, this trip took us about 9 hours, the book said 5-8 ***

Things we used:
- GPS (plot your way points before you leave)
- helmet
- grommetted backpack
- large dry bag
- wet suits
- harness
- repelling device of choice
- PA (but this rappel wasn't awkward to get on so you didn't really need one.)
- enough water for a day hike.
- snacks for a day
- change of undergarments, or swim suit
- knife
- lighter
- a good driver, who doesn't mind taking their car on maintained dirt roads, with small obstacles.
*bug spray would be helpful but we forgot it (there were swarms of small mosquitoes)
*We brought a headlamp too just in case, but found we didn't need it
*also a water proof first aid kit was nice to have

Pro tip: You don't have to hike along the 231 the whole time. If you have your GPS, you can save yourself some time and walk from the road across a field to where your car is parked, instead of walking all the way around save you about 30 minutes, or just stick out your thumb and hitch a ride- seems like a popular road for hunters in the fall.

The trees were just changing colors, it was so beautiful to watch the leaves fall like confetti. They made things a bit more slippery to walk on, but the scenery was more than I could have hoped for. Most guide books recommend doing this canyon in the summer because there is a lot of water to swim through. I would say bring a 3mm wet suit and do this in the fall.
Casner Cabin Draw
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This isn't a very technical or highly rated canyon but I certainly enjoyed it and don't need it to be terribly technical to have a good time. :D My buddy and I both had stuff keeping us in the valley that Saturday morning, but we meet up around noon and drove north with a mission to hammer out a few canyons off of Woody Mt Road, or at least I did and he tagged along. :lol: So we did hit this canyon until like 3ish but quickly geared up and quickly walked along the forrest road, past the cow tank, thru the open meadow, and began the long rock hop down canyon that got more & more difficult as we trekked down canyon. Occasionally there was a side trail to hop on, but for the most part it was right down the dry creek bed with loads of rocks, boulders, bushes, cold pools, and down trees to navigate around. :sweat: We hit that confluence with the north fork and the canyon got much more interesting afterwards with slickrock sections and mandatory swimmers. :D It was a pretty warm & humid day so we left the wetsuits in the truck and were sweating profusely on the hike in but the cold pools quickly cooled us off and almost had us wishing we had the wetsuits but thankfully they were short & sweet. I believe we hit two swimmers & a wader before hitting the canyons only 15ft rappel (the anchor is back a bit so bring about 80ft of rope or redo the anchor) that drops you down into two more swimmers, some rock hopping and then two more cold swimmers before finally reaching the confluence with upper West Fork canyon. :GB: Upstream from the confluence you hit a cool narrows with a wader but after that it's back to rock hopping & downed tree bypassing. After a bit you hit a confluence and make sure to go right unless you want to take the LONG way back to FR231. ;) The creek hiking up this pleasant canyon gets slowly easier with an occasional trail popping up here & there with the bridge for 231 not too far off. It was well into dusk by the time we hit the road and started cruising our way north towards the truck and we got almost a mile before some nice bow hunters gave us a lift back to Casner Cabin Draw. Thanks dudes! :y:

Hmm, so the photos didn't turn out as good as my usual sets due to low light, tough keeping water off of the lens when there's a half dozen swimmers, and the canyon was tight & narrow most of the way... But hopefully these photos give ya an idea of what to expect if you retrace this loop. ;)

Permit $$

Red Rock - Secret Mountain Wilderness
see map for camping restrictions

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To canyon trip
From Flagstaff, head west on route 66 to Woody Mtn Rd. Turn left (south) onto WMR (aka FR 231) and stay on FR231 at all intersections. Drive until you reach the single lane bridge for Casner Cabin draw. Pull off here and park.
page created by nonot on Sep 11 2011 9:08 pm
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