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mini location map2009-08-09
4 by photographer avatarnonot
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Clover Creek CanyonPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Aug 09 2009
nonot
Canyoneering8.30 Miles 1,800 AEG
Canyoneering8.30 Miles2 Days   6 Hrs      
1,800 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
III - Normally requires most of a day
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Wow, what a bushwhack and boulder hop.

Clover Creek starts out nice. There is water (and cow patties) and you follow a trail for about a mile to a mile and a half. Then it turns into an all out bushwhack through New Mexican Locust Bush. Eventually you reach a section of slickrock and all the water goes underground except for scuzzy pools. At the crux Todd describes I made it through that section dry, but I could see others getting wet and getting back up would be a bit difficult.

After the "upper section" you enter a NE-SW section where another trail comes down from Clover Tank. There is no water from this section until you get within 0.3 miles of WCC. I dry camped here and listened to the birds (owls were very active that night.) It took about 3 hours to make it here.

The next day I found a great trail that goes throughout the entire NE-SW section of the canyon and was sad to leave it as I continued N towards WCC along the lower half of Clover Canyon. It got hot, it was painful, there was no water. It was all rock hopping, there are a few bypass trails overgrown with N-M Locust. I think this trip would be good a few days after a good storm, but right now it is pretty masochistic. Finally, graciously, the water returns and you begin to see trout the last 0.3 miles to WCC/Willow Valley junction. I jumped straight in the water and waded the entire way to the confluence to cool off, sooth my itching, and cool off the scratchy leg syndrome from all the bushwhacking. It took me 2.5 hours to reach the confluence with Willow valley.

If it wasn't for the fact this hike ends at WCC I would rate it a 1. The rating would likely be higher if there was water like when Todd went. As it turns out, drybagging all my gear was completely unnecessary. Except for swimming in WCC I didn't get wet above the knees.

I hiked over to where Maxwell trail reaches WCC and chatted with some folks there, I did get wet up to my waist doing that. Lots of crawdads in WCC!

Thanks to Todd for the beta as I was wondering about this for some time as to whether a rope was needed.
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193 Photosets

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