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mini location map2006-08-13
22 by photographer avatarVaporman
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Willow ValleyPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 13 2006
Vaporman
Hiking9.50 Miles 760 AEG
Hiking9.50 Miles   7 Hrs      1.36 mph
760 ft AEG
 no routes
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Another amazing canyon experinece up in the West Clear Creek Wilderness. :D We camped at Maxwell tank and hit the 'trail' about 7am on an overcast morning. The side canyon down to Willow Valley involves about a half mile of bushwacking thru thorny New Mexico Locust. Then you drop into the dry part of Willow Valley and hit the narrow section fairly quickly which has three swimmers. Even in the summer, a wetsuit is highly recommended. The canyon stays very narrow for the next couple miles, but is mostly dry and doesn't have any mandatory swimmers. Eventually the canyon floor widens up a bit, you hit more pools that can mostly be avoided, and the creek starts flowing (most likely due to springs feeding some of those large pools). There are many good camping spots in this area with a descent use trail along the side of the creek. The creek just keeps going and bending until you reach the confluence of Clover Creek. You head downstream a bit on WCC and find the Maxwell trail just before the creek bends to the left. We ran across a family at the bottom of Maxwell and the mother said the classic lines of "What are you guys doing?" and "You know you're getting your gear wet!", hehe. The hike out on Maxwell is steep, but is to be expected considering how high the canyon walls are. As we hit the rim, we saw a large thunderstorm dumping upstream from where we just were. :o We then hiked the remaining of the loop, 3 miles on forest roads, back to Maxwell tank where we left the truck. This has to be my favorite WCC route yet. I can't wait to get back up here and explore some more. I'm definetly doing this one again next year. 8)
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Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
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