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Bell Trail to the Crack - Wet Beaver Creek
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mini location map2002-04-25
1 by photographer avatarmontezumawell
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Bell Trail to the Crack - Wet Beaver CreekCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 25 2002
Hiking 280 AEG
280 ft AEG
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Linked none no linked trail guides
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Joe provided an excellent description of this trail (actually a former cattle driveway.)
What Joe called 'Tongue of the Beaver' is known to the 'locals' as 'The Crack.' It's a mega party scene there at certain times. Other times, no one in sight. Ditto with the Weir. We've actually camped at the Weir a few times. Trick is to walk in at dusk to make sure no one's there and then leave right after sunup. It's a very busy trail, a 'must do' for practically every Boy Scouting group in the Southwest. Since the TH is only a 13 minute drive from our home, we do this trail often, even if only for a 15 minute stroll up to the petroglyph rock and the nearby red ledges in the creek. Ah, to hear the water gurgle over those ledges. Bear in mind that, if this trail and creek were in Sedona, it would be one of the 'major draws' over there. Probably would have been homesteaded and then sold to an Enchantment-style developer. Somehow, this trail stayed public. Thank The Trail Gods!
Anyway, Joe's right, don't bother with White Mesa or Apache Maid unless your are really bored out of your mind. Hang out at The Crack and watch the 'local color' do their thing or splish and splash in the pool of your own choice. Do realize this is prime snake habitat due to the excellent rodent population. It's not really a big deal but you should always keep your eyes open for rattlesnakes. They are very common. Less so down by the water but they definitely DO sometimes hang out there, too. Just be cautions.
A side note: That Bell fellow was actually an Eastern industrialist who came to visit one of the resorts which once lined Beaver Creek. He fell in love with the cowboy lifestyle and was probably much like Billy Crystal in 'City Slickers.' He bought a ranch and literally threw money at every project you can think of. The Bell Trail was one of his more grandiose and expensive projects. None of the 'locals' of tha era could possibly afford to spend that kind of money blasting a cattle driveway out of Beaver Creek's sheer cliffs. They simply drove their herds up existing slopes scattered along the Mogollon Rim. Not ol' Mr. Bell! So, whenever you hike the Bell Trail, tip your hat to early tourism. You are walking along an indirect relic of the once-thriving resort business which made Beaver Creek famous nationwide in the pre-depression 1920's.
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