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Maxwell Trail #37 - 21 members in 72 triplogs have rated this an average 3.8 ( 1 to 5 best )
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May 30 2015
John9L
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 170
 Photos 4,848
 Triplogs 1,619

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Tramway Maxwell LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 30 2015
John9L
Hiking10.60 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking10.60 Miles
1,500 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners partners
chumley
clairebear
friendofThundergod
Tough_Boots
Met up with the group for a fun hike in West Clear Creek. I've hiked this area before via the Point Trail. This was my first time on these trails and it was quite the adventure.

We left Tempe around 7am and made our way north with two vehicles. The drive took a fair amount of time but wasn't two bad. We turned off Lake Mary Rd and followed some forest roads back for WCC. We parked at the top of the loop of the official route. We would start and end our time hiking on the road.

The first two miles flew by as we breezed down the forest road. Before long we hit the Maxwell Trail and started our descent down. The trail is steep but in good condition overall. Once at the creek we headed downstream and had to get our feet wet. The going was very chill and enjoyable. I saw several patches of poison ivy and tried to avoid it. I cleaned up with Tecnu so we'll see if I catch any.

We headed downstream and passed the Tramway Trail. We continued down and made our way to the Point Trail where we checked out the weeping wall and then started the return. The going was very easy and everyone was having a lot of fun especially the dogs! We hit the Tramway Trail and then climbed up the route. There are a few steep sections with some step like rocks to climb up. Lots of fun! Once back on the rim we followed the road back to the cars and then made the return to Phoenix.

This was another really fun hike with a great group. West Clear Creek is such a treat when the temps hit three digits in Phoenix. The trek in the creek is so much fun and the dogs had a wonderful time! Thanks to Chumley and Lee for driving and thanks to Kyle just because!
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1 archive
May 30 2015
chumley
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 Guides 75
 Routes 667
 Photos 13,162
 Triplogs 1,416

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Tramway Maxwell LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 30 2015
chumley
Hiking10.06 Miles 1,241 AEG
Hiking10.06 Miles   6 Hrs   5 Mns   2.23 mph
1,241 ft AEG   1 Hour   34 Mns Break
 
Partners partners
clairebear
friendofThundergod
John9L
Tough_Boots
For quite some time now, Clairebear has been pushing for us to all visit her namesake--West Claire Creek. And now I know why! What a special place!

The roads getting back there are pretty rutted due to the snow a couple of weeks ago, so that made for an entertaining drive in. Claire was quite calm the one time that FOTGs kayak decided it wanted to pass us on the right. :o

We considered doing a shuttle, but with all the people and dogs it was going to be a challenge to fit in one vehicle. In retrospect, the road to the Tramway trail is so bad in many places that it's probably faster to just hike it!

Had a good time and somehow ended up with over 10 miles on the day. A pleasant surprise was the cloud cover which hid the sun most of the day, including on our hike out which was much appreciated. I'll have to come back here with somebody who actually knows how to fish. ;)

HAZ Tracks Note: In the canyon where our Garmins had several instances of jumping around and adding all kinds of unnecessary mileage, HAZ Tracks stayed remarkably accurate, with only slight jumps when the signal was lost due to obstructions. Whatever the algorithm to prevent those stray points is, it works exponentially better than whatever Garmin does.
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Highway to hell
2 archives
May 30 2015
clairebear
avatar

 Photos 178
 Triplogs 158

37 female
 Joined Oct 26 2011
 Tempe, AZ
Tramway Maxwell LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 30 2015
clairebear
Hiking10.60 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking10.60 Miles
1,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
chumley
friendofThundergod
John9L
Tough_Boots
West Clear Creek is one of the most beautiful places!
Its such a bummer that I didn't bring a camera.
Everyone else got to play tourist ! :)

The day went by really quickly. And then we had Del Taco.
FINTO
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Sep 21 2014
Grimey
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 Routes 3
 Photos 418
 Triplogs 20

51 male
 Joined Oct 17 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Maxwell Trail #37Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 21 2014
Grimey
Hiking1.00 Miles 640 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   0.67 mph
640 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took my wife on a nice hike to West Clear Creek via Maxwell Trail #37. Nice views, not too strenuous up or down. Would like to camp down there someday.

The drive in was pretty hairy, due to yesterday's rains. Several spots where a fear of bogging down in the mud crept into my mind.
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4 archives
May 03 2014
ALMAL
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 Routes 7
 Photos 1,903
 Triplogs 170

53 male
 Joined Oct 17 2010
 GILBERT
Point Trail - West Clear CreekPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar May 03 2014
ALMAL
Backpack7.20 Miles 750 AEG
Backpack7.20 Miles
750 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
This was a last minute trip and first of the year to WCC. With the fire restrictions already in place, there were few campers along FR144, 149, and 142 on the way into the trailhead. Made good time and reached my campsite by 11. Spent the day fishing and hiking upstream to the Maxwell trail was my turn around point. I caught 6 small browns on a rooster tail, about the only thing I could throw in this wind... It was a chilly night with no fire to be sure. Very surprised that I saw only day hikers on Saturday that came down the Tramway trail, and no one else until the hike out Sunday with more day hikers down at the Point.
Fauna
Fauna
Brown Trout
Culture
Culture
Campsite HAZ Rides
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You aren't late if you don't show up!
Sep 14 2013
matthewkphx
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 Photos 5
 Triplogs 3

48 male
 Joined Dec 16 2012
 phoenix
Maxwell Trail #37Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 14 2013
matthewkphx
Hiking0.50 Miles 640 AEG
Hiking0.50 Miles
640 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This triplog is more about the road than the hike. The road is pretty rough for the last two miles. We were in a Subaru Forester and decided to stop about 1/2 mile from the trailhead and park the car when we encountered a particularly gnarly stretch. We then got hit by an intense thunderstorm with 3/8" hail as we hiked to the last bit to the trailhead and were totally soaked and sliding around in deep mud. Here is what I learned about Maxwell Trail #37:

• Plan on parking your car by the Y and walking the last 2 miles in if you are not in a 4WD truck. You would be very bold to try to get all the way to the trailhead in a sedan/minivan/etc.

• Avoid walking down that road in the rain. It turns into slippery, slick mud very quickly.

• I would not hesitate to hike Maxwell Trail #37 in the rain. It did not seem to have the mud problem, at least at the top. We did not make it all the way to the bottom due to an unhappy and scared child.
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Jun 30 2013
nonot
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 Guides 93
 Routes 236
 Photos 1,969
 Triplogs 476

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Willow ValleyPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jun 30 2013
nonot
Canyoneering9.80 Miles 850 AEG
Canyoneering9.80 Miles   6 Hrs   45 Mns   1.45 mph
850 ft AEG18 LBS Pack
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
III - Normally requires most of a day
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Tried to escape the Valley heat, but was still hot up north until 10PM and hot again by 9AM the next day. Hiked to the tank and headed down the drainage. A little brushier than anticipated, but not terrible. WCC is dry where you first reach it, but there are several initial pools of ice water you have to swim through. Awfully refreshing considering the heat. As you boulder on you eventually run into water. First a little, then it finally starts flowing. Still missed the arch toddak posted. :( Once you reach the flowing creek it is awesome the rest of the way. Headed up the maxwell to breezier weather and cooler temps on Saturday night.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Clover Creek Medium flow Medium flow
typical flow into WCC as compared to past years.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Maxwell Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full
more than half full, not horrible looking
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Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
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Jun 21 2013
markthurman53
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 Guides 75
 Routes 475
 Photos 5,651
 Triplogs 400

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Maxwell Trail West Clear Creek, AZ 
Maxwell Trail West Clear Creek, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 21 2013
markthurman53
Hiking0.90 Miles 750 AEG
Hiking0.90 Miles      28 Mns   2.16 mph
750 ft AEG      3 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Side trip on my way to Flagstaff to do some Arizona Trail hikes. Glad I did this, what an awesome canyon. I now know where Arizona Highway Magazine got some of those photos I see in the Magazine not knowing where West Clear Creek was. The trail does a 750 foot drop to the creek bottom and from there you just kind of wing it. I winged a little upstream and then winged a little down stream. You could spend a whole day or more traveling up or down stream exploring. Be prepared to get wet though if you want to continue along the stream.
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Jun 13 2013
drwells14
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 Photos 141
 Triplogs 19

47 male
 Joined Sep 02 2002
 Mesa, AZ
Maxwell Trail #37Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 13 2013
drwells14
Hiking4.00 Miles 640 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.00 mph
640 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Down the trail to the canyon floor. Followed creek 1.5 miles west. Lots of exploring, bushwhacking and playtime in the creek.
Fauna
Fauna
Crayfish
_____________________
"Not all those who wander are lost." - JRR Tolkien
Aug 18 2012
The_Eagle
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 Guides 5
 Routes 789
 Photos 9,103
 Triplogs 1,065

63 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Tramway Maxwell LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 18 2012
The_Eagle
Hiking7.20 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking7.20 Miles
1,200 ft AEG14 LBS Pack
 
Partners partners
Eaglet
Took my son Ben and his friend Ben out for a couple of hikes. He requested nothing too long because he had to be back in the Valley at a reasonable hour, something with water.

Tramway/Maxwell Fit the bill for the first one in the Sampler Platter.

We had to park a little short of the loop start because of the muddy road conditions. Found out later from a camper that they'd received 3 hours worth of heavy rain the night before. This made the road walk to the rim, slick with mud laden shoes. I opted to go down the Tramway and up Maxwell.

The views from up top, as always, were outstanding! Once you get down to the creek you are in another world. Jungle like. The route between Tramway and Maxwell disappears every now and then. Because of all the rain the night before, the Creek was up and the jungle vegetation was dripping wet. I gave up trying to keep dry after about 1/10th of a mile.

Passed only one occupied campsite, which is unusual for this area. Made our way up Maxwell and the road walk back to the Truck. With thunder crackling all around, we got rained on a bit on the walk back.

I need to come back when I can spend more time exploring at the bottom. With the rain coming in and the muddy roads, it was not in the cards today.

Love this area
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There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Aug 04 2012
flashT
avatar

 Triplogs 6

50 male
 Joined May 05 2009
 Chandler, AZ
Maxwell Trail #37Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 04 2012
flashT
Hiking0.50 Miles 640 AEG
Hiking0.50 Miles      30 Mns   1.00 mph
640 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This hike is a diamond in the rough!

The views are amazing and the lushness of the creek side at the canyon floor is an oasis! The weather turned on us quickly, as it typically will in August, but it left as quickly as it came. The hike itself is steep and a bit loose on the footing, but overall not too technical.

Worthy of mention is the drive to the trailhead with beautiful open meadows and majestic trees all around.

Planning to return and do a little more exploring along the creek.
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It's the journey, not the destination!
Jul 15 2012
RickVincent
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 Guides 4
 Routes 5
 Photos 3,341
 Triplogs 642

49 male
 Joined Aug 20 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Maxwell Trail #37Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 15 2012
RickVincent
Hiking0.50 Miles 640 AEG
Hiking0.50 Miles   2 Hrs      0.25 mph
640 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I played guide this weekend. The son of a close friend of mine asked me to help him with an idea on a great place to propose to his girlfriend. I suggested West Clear Creek, Horton Creek, West Fork and a few others. He was looking for something somewhat easy that was also remote.

Horton would be one of the easier options, but we soon discovered that the Horton Trail is closed due to fire conerns.

We moved on to West Clear Creek and decided on the Maxwell Trail as the easiest access into WCC. The roads were wet from the previous nights rain, but didn't create any problems for our high clearance 2wd truck.

We descended to creek level and poked around a bit both upstream and downstream. Didn't plan to make a long day out of it, so we started heading back up the trail around 10:45am.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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This is my gym. I have to travel down a bumpy road to get there. There are no treadmillls, no machines, and no personal trainers. I walk..I run..I breathe the fresh air. I can go any time I want, as much as I want and there is no membership fee.
Jul 07 2012
technology
avatar

 Photos 31
 Triplogs 24

female
 Joined May 15 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Maxwell Trail #37Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 07 2012
technology
Hiking5.00 Miles 640 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles
640 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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We are what we believe we are.
C. S. Lewis
Jul 01 2012
ALMAL
avatar

 Routes 7
 Photos 1,903
 Triplogs 170

53 male
 Joined Oct 17 2010
 GILBERT
Point Trail - West Clear CreekPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 01 2012
ALMAL
Hiking7.20 Miles 750 AEG
Hiking7.20 Miles
750 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
HAZ - Event
Rolled into the trailhead area around dusk. Didn't anyone camped until I got to the end of 142E. 142E was marked very well on this trip. There 3 other groups camped by the trailhead but were pretty quiet during the night. I parked about 200 yards before the trailhead in a nice little spot.

The stars disappeared by 5AM so I ate and hit the trail by 7. It was a short but always steep hike in but it's over before you know it and you're rewarded with a lush flowing creek. I wore the Merrell water shoes down the trail so I crossed in the water and headed upstream. The usual pair of logs tied together bridge by this first big log jam was down to just 1 log. I moved slowly stopping to fish a few times and then arrived at my campsite by noon. Only saw one group of 4 people all day.

I camped at the same spot 4 weeks ago when I hiked down from the Maxwell trail. I would guess this spot to about halfway between the Point and the Maxwell. A quick setup and off to fish more and catch some crawdads if I'm lucky. I was. I caught and ate about 3 dozen or so that night. This crawdad net wors really well. It was a quiet night and I awoke to sprinkles the next morning.

Big breakfast to start the day and some more fishing. Hiked back downstream to the Point trail. From there, the hike was exactly what I expected... uphill... Overall I was really surprised this trip and last, at how well defined the actual trail is along the creek. You will get your feet wet, but the trail is really easy to follow with minimal bushwacking for distances longer than 20 feet.
Culture
Culture
HAZ Rides
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Jun 10 2012
cabel
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 Guides 4
 Photos 2,681
 Triplogs 395

55 male
 Joined Nov 13 2005
 Cave Creek, AZ
Maxwell Trail #37Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 10 2012
cabel
Hiking0.50 Miles 640 AEG
Hiking0.50 Miles      30 Mns   1.00 mph
640 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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All who wander are not lost...just me.
Jun 02 2012
ALMAL
avatar

 Routes 7
 Photos 1,903
 Triplogs 170

53 male
 Joined Oct 17 2010
 GILBERT
Maxwell Trail #37Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 02 2012
ALMAL
Hiking8.00 Miles 640 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles
640 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I left the east valley around 5AM and cruised into FR81 by 8AM. I parked about a mile before the trailhead since the last part of the road is really nasty. Plenty of people do make all the way. I needed the extra mile hike anyway. The wind was up all day off and on. The trail down to WCC is in good shape. I met some people on their way up who tried to fish awhile but gave up.

I could see tents before I got all the way down the trail. In all I passed 5 different groups of people camping creekside during my hike of about 2 miles downstream. I was surprised to see this many people out with the campfire ban. The trail along the creek is pretty easy to follow if you don't mind wet feet. Just before the Tramway trail joins in, you'll pass the supposed old grafiti on the stone walls. Most looks fake to me. There is a well difined trail down past the Tramway intersection that does involve a little bushwacking, although you can still see the trail the whole way down.

I located an elevated campsite on the right and made my self at home. I fashioned a net out of a forked stick and the netting part I always take with me on these trips. During the next 30 minutes I caught 28 crawdads within 50 feet of my campsite creek access. Later I added a brown trout to the dinner menu. Several other groups of people passed in the afternoon, most hiking upstream from the Point trail. The bacon I brought proved to be a worthy addition when cooked with some onion and crawdads. I boiled the others and added the tails to pasta... Night was cool but very comfortable with a 35 degree bag.

The next morning, some good coffee and the rest of that bacon was a warming replacement for no campfire. I really enjoyed the hike out and met still other people on Sunday out day-hiking. I would have liked to have spent more time fishing but it was too windy for the flyrod. I think I'll try to reach the same campsite from the Point trail next time...
Fauna
Fauna
Brown Trout
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Jul 22 2011
metalmansion81
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 Photos 35
 Triplogs 15

male
 Joined Sep 09 2010
 Mesa, AZ
Willow ValleyPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jul 22 2011
metalmansion81
Canyoneering8.50 Miles 760 AEG
Canyoneering8.50 Miles   7 Hrs      1.21 mph
760 ft AEG
Basic Canyoneering - Scrambling; easy climbing/downclimbing; frequent hand use; rope recommended; easy exit
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
III - Normally requires most of a day
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Took Friday off work and drug a friend along to check out another non-technical canyon up on the rim. Cached some water at the Maxwell trailhead and drove over to the Maxwell tank to drop in. Willow Valley starts of as a pretty nasty bushwhack down a small drainage, but soon opened up into an awesome Coconino sandstone canyon. A few short down climbs to the valley floor and a few minutes of boulder hopping brought us to the first of the 3 swims. Looked for the climbing route to the right mentioned in Canyoneering Arizona, but didn't find anything promising, so we sucked it up and got in the COLD water! We motored through the 3 swimmers quickly and got to boulder hopping through the gorgeous sandstone narrows to warm back up.

Once the valley opened up and the creek showed up it was back to bushwhacking on one side of the creek or the other or wading down the middle. At times the vegetation was very dense and left any exposed skin looking like a gang of alley cats attacked us, one plant we brushed by made us itch like crazy till we rinsed off in the creek. Stinging nettles maybe? Those creek miles feel so much longer than normal miles and it felt like took way too long to get to the Maxwell Trail, but it finally showed up.

We hiked up the Maxwell trail with only a small amount of water left and were very happy to have cached that gallon for the 3 mile road walk back to the truck. Awesome weather all day and a fun canyon. Can't wait to explore further down in WCC and see the White Box and Hanging Garden I keep hearing about!
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Jun 11 2011
joebartels
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 Guides 213
 Routes 824
 Photos 10,812
 Triplogs 4,252

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Tramway Maxwell LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 11 2011
joebartels
Hiking6.85 Miles 1,140 AEG
Hiking6.85 Miles   5 Hrs   15 Mns   1.52 mph
1,140 ft AEG      45 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
Partners partners
The_Eagle
Pleasant area as always. My first time on Maxwell. Started out in the warmest 55 degrees I ever recall, must have been bone dry out. Had a couple good chats with a guy named Mike and his buddy. Skipped rocks for a while. Bruce did some cold water wading. No Brown-Eyed-Susans yet, probably a month away.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Jun 11 2011
The_Eagle
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 Guides 5
 Routes 789
 Photos 9,103
 Triplogs 1,065

63 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Tramway Maxwell LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 11 2011
The_Eagle
Hiking6.85 Miles 1,140 AEG
Hiking6.85 Miles   5 Hrs   15 Mns   1.52 mph
1,140 ft AEG      45 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
Partners partners
joebartels
This one has been on my "Wish List" for some time now. I don't have a clue what took me so long to do it.

The 1.7 mile road walk, from the intersection where is splits to go to Maxwell (FR 81E) and Tramway (FR693) is a good warm up for the climb down. We opted to start on the Tramway trail.

It is quite the site to walk the relatively flat FR 693 and to have it end in what appears to be a straight down 800' drop. The views from up here are awe inspiring. It was quite steep and loose in spots going down, but not too bad. I got to hear the story of Joe's last experience on this trail on the way down. The creek at the bottom was quite a site. It was very lush and quiet down there (Other than my hiking partner). We passed up 3 groups camping on the way over to the Maxwell trail area. None of them were serving breakfast anymore. :(

We pushed past the Maxwell turn a bit to try and get into Willow Canyon. I went to go through a mandatory 30yd wade up to my waist and lost the feeling of everything below the waist :o . We decided it best to not go and further and found a nice spot for lunch.

The hike up Maxwell was a lot less steep than the Tramway trail.

This is not a mileage buster hike, but there are a lot of great areas down in that canyon to explore. It's still on my list for further exploration.
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_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Aug 14 2010
toddak
avatar

 Guides 7
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,053
 Triplogs 391

54 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Willow ValleyPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Aug 14 2010
toddak
Canyoneering16.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Canyoneering16.00 Miles   10 Hrs      1.60 mph
2,000 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
III - Normally requires most of a day
 no routes
Partners none no partners
The bushwhack into the drainage is brutal but short, once in the bottom the going gets much easier. Great water in the creek, a bit cold on the swims but great for wading. Hiked up to the east rim via a cairned use trail (aka Flatrock Tank trail) at the top of the second straightaway that meets the rim at the end of FR9399S - steep and loose but not too crazy. Also did the Tramway Trail.
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average hiking speed 1.4 mph
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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.

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