The Best Hikes in Camp Verde

1,932 Triplog Reviews in the Camp Verde
Most recent of 798 deeper Triplog Reviews
7 mi • 0 ft aeg
Minor Mesa meanders
Two trips last week hardly worth mentioning, briefly mentioned here. Oct 18 I went up to Perry Mesa to see how muddy it was and to walk a couple hills I hadn't been on. Results: not too muddy, Bloody Basin Road with a few largely avoidable puddles, and I found nary a sherd on my hill walk. Granite rock not conducive for petroglyphs. GPS :: Perry Mesa NE hills

A few days later I went to Badger Springs with an old friend who just moved to town. He's an archaeology reader and wanted to have an easy intro to what's around here. I also include a couple pics of that walk.
36 mi • 1,800 ft aeg
Spent several days doing dayhikes to finish off segments 28, 29 and enjoy the great weather. Only saw a few elk and no deer, but lots of cows and horses. There were approximately 1 million people camping in the vicinity of Happy Jack and Mormon Lake on this Labor Day Weekend.

While the Mormon Lake segment was in perfect shape, I spent perhaps a total of 1.5 hours cutting and clearing smaller fallen trees off of segment 28. It appeared the recent storms were not friendly to the forest in this segment. There were 3 large fallen trees well beyond my capability on the trail where it makes a turn near Elkhorn tank. These will require a sawyer team and crosscut saw. Exact coordinates can be provided if requested.

Wildflowers
Mormon Lake, nearly all the meadows in this area, Allen Lake are bursting!
3.23 mi • 520 ft aeg
Deb and I headed up to Mormon Lake and the Double Springs area for a short hike and some lunch.

A few sprinkles to begin with, but temperate albeit a bit muggy after that. The breeze kept it nice. Mixed Oaks and conifer kept it decently shaded.

Not a long enough hike to make this be the reason to drive up here. If you are in the area though, the payoff off is the excellent views of Mormon Lake.

We stopped at the Mormon Lake Lodge for lunch. First time here, but I'll be back.
Very good food and large portions.
32 mi • 1,600 ft aeg
Spent a few days dayhiking mileage on the AZT, having to work around the Walnut Canyon Stage 3 closure. The weather was a mix of rain and hail the first night with a mix of heavy and light rain the following few nights. I imagine they will lift all the fire restrictions in Coconino soon.

I enjoyed the section of AZT segment #30 that goes along the old railroad line. Very enjoyable and also seemed to attract trail runners. The Anderson Mesa portion is rather dull.

Spoke for awhile to a backpacker doing the segment from Upper Lake Mary to Pine. There is no surface water to speak of along segment #30, and backpackers going the reverse direction will probably have to get by via collecting rainwater.

Sadly, I saw no wildlife except for a garter snake and a hummingbird. (I am not counting the cows roaming the mesa.) The hummingbird was working overtime to find the few isolated flowers.
7.3 mi • 520 ft aeg
Figured a day at the Crack was a good way to kick off the summer. Plus I was able to take a few friends that had never been before. Had been a few years for myself, but the hike, the crack, all seems the same as I remember it. If anything the signage might be a little better. Got there early enough to park in the main parking lot. It was a Saturday and it was pretty packed, but I expected that. Good news is I didn't really notice any trash so that's good especially with the amount of people. Did notice some grafiti on the way in. On the hike out, passed a lot of people headed in. Noticed many were choosing to Hydrate with white claws on the trail in :) I had an enjoyable day.
10.3 mi • 520 ft aeg
Decided to head here early in the morning with the goal of heading past the crack and up the creek. Got to the crack super quick and was the only one there. Reminded me of how this place used to be in the 90’s before the hordes came. Oh nostalgia.

Anyway, headed up creek. Glad I had my trekking poles (thanks for the recommendation in your triplog Chumley) because holy hell those rocks are so slippery. Tons of poison ivy around too so parts of the trek I just tried to stay in the water. Brought a floatie for the swimmers and slotted up areas which were actually quite refreshing because it was a scorcher today.

Finally turned around because I found a slow leak in my floatie and I took a nasty spill slipping on these slippery rocks. Damn rocks.

When I finally got back to the crack there was actually only 8 people there. Shocked. I guess no one wants to hike a hike to the Wet Beaver’s Crack on Easter. 😂
3.22 mi • 365 ft aeg
Checking off my 12th site from the hiking seldom seen ruins book! Man, that book really gets the parking locations so wrong and/or assumes everyone is driving a sedan, lol. Based on HAZ info, I was planning on parking near the perry windmill and hiking approx 6 miles. However, when I was approaching that pin, there was a TON of cattle (cows, bulls, the cutest baby cows) all hanging out there. I was solo hiking, so honestly didn’t want to walk through them all and kinda felt bad disturbing them too. I drove a bit further to give them space and consulted my maps. I determined that if I continued driving, I’d get to a spot where the route actually intersected with the road. I figured it was worth a shot, but wasn’t sure if I’d be missing any petroglyphs by not hiking that first section. It was the best option for me to be able to hike comfortably solo, so that’s what I did.

After parking off the side of the road in a little pull off area I found, I had to backtrack a bit on the road to meet up with the route. The beginning was pretty boring, walking in a grassy meadow with a bunch of baseball sized rocks to avoid. Then I started approaching the edge of the Perry tank canyon. I actually had no pins for any petroglyphs this time. My last trip to Perry Mesa was filled with petroglyphs so I was kind of expecting the same here. In hindsight, that was definitely a mistake as they seemed way more spread out at this site.

The route I was following stayed up on the Mesa but I know that the petroglyphs are always down a bit, so I decided to climb down and navigate across while looking up at the rock faces. I figured this would give me the best chance to see the most. The terrain down there was a pain in the butt, lol! It was constant navigating around various forms of cacti, climbing over/around large rocks and hiking on top of mini Boulder fields. It was a whole process of navigate a small section, stop and look up for glyphs and repeat. :sweat:

I was really only seeing faded glyphs and was starting to question my decisions, but I continued on, slowly making my way towards the other end of the canyon. I hiked to where the HAZ track ended and finally saw some clusters of petroglyphs. I was really looking forward to seeing the duck and the large feet in particular, but I just wasn’t spotting them! I went to a screenshot that I had of info on the site and verified that I was in what I thought was the correct place. I did see a duck and other interesting types of glyphs but they still looked faded compared to pics I saw on here. I still had daylight left to look around a bit more, but then it got crazy windy to the point where I almost lost my favorite hat… :cry: The wind was so bad, I could barely stand up straight! I decided I needed to get to higher ground because the wind was really no joke and I don’t mess around with AZ weather; my allergies also went nuts.

I tried to wait it out a bit on the Mesa area so I could resume my hunt, but it wasn’t dying down. I quickly checked out some of the crumbling rock walls of the dwellings but didn’t really take any pics because they were in pretty bad shape. I ultimately made the call to just hike back to my vehicle and come back a different day. I’m not quite sure if I just missed the less faded petroglyphs or if I didn’t actually hike by them due to altering my route in the beginning. It’s definitely going to take a bit more research and exploring to see everything this particular site has to offer.

I only saw one male + dog copilot on an ATV and a big herd of antelope (pranghorn) the entire day! :D
7.7 mi • 2,280 ft aeg
I picked up my nephew from school and we headed up to cool off in Beaver Creek. We didn't hike far. The parking lot was crowded, presumably with people swimming at the crack. We just went to one of our favorite spots to sit under the waterfall and enjoy the view. Had it to ourselves. The clouds, the green and the lovely lighting made for some extra gorgeous scenery. We finished off the day with dinner and live music at Farm a go-go in Cornville. Highly recommend eating there.

Wildflowers
The recent rains brought some flowers.
8.75 mi • 1,785 ft aeg
We hiked this trail yesterday for the first time. I cannot imagine doing it in the summer. What a killer uphill! The views were nice and of course fossil creek is amazing. It was neat to see the springs and the dam. There was still a bit of snow on the trail and a few muddy spots. The parking lot was packed, but it didn't feel overly crowded. A few people were swimming. It was a bit too cold for me. I'd like to swim into that cave though. Maybe I'll try the flume trail next time.
3 mi • 1,807 ft aeg
I did this hike starting from the lower end at the Bullpen parking area on Forest Road 215. This meant I was hiking uphill at the beginning of my hike and downhill at the end.

There are two starting paths. The Coconino National Forest website as well as the Friends of the Forest map that they hand out at the visitor center suggest you start by hiking east on West Clear Creek trail. After going 1/2 mile you turn left on an unmarked social trail that goes up the hill and connects to the Blodgett Basin trail. I do not recommend this approach. West Clear Creek trail is a wide, gravel road at this point, so this is fairly boring and the turning point can be difficult to find if you don't have a GPS. The social trail can be difficult to follow. I don't know why they describe this route; maybe it is an old route.

The official Blodgett Basin trail starts near the parking lot at the end of the road, about 150 feet west of the vault toilet. There is a sign at the trailhead; you can't miss it if you know to look for it. It heads up the hill immediately; you do not walk near the creek and water. This route is a narrow hiking trail rather than an old road, with fewer people.

The trail climbs a couple of hundred feet, then goes up and down as it travels east paralleling the creek for about 0.5 miles with nice views of the creek area. At the 0.5 mile mark it meets with the social trail from West Clear Creek trail and turns northeast and heads up the hill. You climb steadily for about 1800' over 3 miles, with increasingly great views. The trail is quite rocky and steadily uphill but there are no steps or serious climbing.

If you follow this official trail route the trail is clear and obvious, and no route-finding is required. There are a few cairns along the way, but mostly just follow the worn footpath.

It's an out-and-back hike. The return trip is nice because you are facing downhill and can appreciate the good views.

My GPS showed 3.2 miles one way, 6.4 miles RT.

The drive down FR 215 to the trailhead is rough and a high clearance vehicle is recommended (though you could probably make it, slowly, in a regular car). You don't need a permit to park here. In the off-season you can park at the end of the road. During busy periods parking may be more difficult due to people coming to spend time in the creek. There is a swimming hole down (east) West Clear Creek trail which will attract visitors on hot summer days.

You can also do this trail from the top down, starting on FR 214. That road is in better shape and you can usually drive it in a non-high-clearance vehicle.

I did this hike in February, and saw no one on the trail, nor was anyone else parked in the parking lot at either the bottom or top of the trail. A nice visitor-less hike to do during the pandemic!
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