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Willow Valley - 16 members in 37 triplogs have rated this an average 4.4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Aug 13 2017
adv_trev
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 7
 Photos 303
 Triplogs 25

40 male
 Joined Oct 01 2005
 Queen Creek, AZ
Willow ValleyPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Aug 13 2017
adv_trev
Canyoneering6.50 Miles 760 AEG
Canyoneering6.50 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   1.44 mph
760 ft AEG13 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I got a late start to this hike, around 11. I headed down the canyon and it was thick with locust trees. At the bottom of the canyon I arrived at 10+ foot drop off. I was able to get down without a rope, but it was a little tricky. The rest of the hike was a lot of fun bolder hopping and swimming. I saw a bear cub and heard the momma. I'm not sure where they went, but I followed the down the canyon for at least a half hour, hearing a growl every 10 minutes. Shortly after that, the sky stated to turn. Being that I am solo, there is a mamma best and cub, the monsoons, and I still had to ride my bike out, I decided to cut the hike short and climb out of the canyon. I found some deer and elk sign, so I tried to follow their path. That didn't happen! I ended up doing a little rock climbing and cactus grabbing, but I make it out and found a road to follow back. It was an awesome hike and I will definitely come back.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
Jul 22 2017
toddak
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,071
 Triplogs 399

54 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Flatrock Tank TrailPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jul 22 2017
toddak
Canyoneering6.00 Miles 800 AEG
Canyoneering6.00 Miles   6 Hrs      1.00 mph
800 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
t282828
Not an easy "trail" to get to (rough roads, not a lot of road signs, muddy spots if wet), but it drops you into an excellent stretch of canyon, and WCC is always worth the effort. Went downstream to the Clover Creek confluence, then back upstream a ways until thunder and rain convinced us to head back out.
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1 archive
Jun 17 2017
chumley
avatar

 Guides 75
 Routes 667
 Photos 13,238
 Triplogs 1,423

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Willow ValleyPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jun 17 2017
chumley
Canyoneering14.27 Miles 1,200 AEG
Canyoneering14.27 Miles1 Day   4 Hrs   36 Mns   
1,200 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
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
JoelHazelton
MountainMatt
This one has been on the list for a while, and Joel and I have been doing creek backpacks at this time of year for the past few years. The weather was perfect for this ... a little warm everywhere, but absolutely ideal to be swimming and wading in a deep canyon.

A couple of things to note. As others have described, the trip down the drainage from Maxwell Tank, while relatively short, is overgrown with uncomfortable prickly things. What apparently nobody else mentioned is that this drainage is choked with unavoidable poison ivy. I mean like the fields of poison ivy. If poison ivy could be harvested for food, this canyon alone could eliminate hunger across the globe. Forever. :scared:

Once into Willow Valley we arrived at the first swimmer which may have been able to be bypassed on the right, but we knew we'd be swimming at some point so we just decided to get it over with. There ended up being four swimmers, and though it was a warm and sunny day, I can't oversell how cold these pools were. Absolutely full-body numbing cold. It was refreshing for about 30 seconds and after that it was a race to get to the other side. If I'm ever up here on a day that is under 85 degrees, I'd consider a wet suit for these.

After the swimmers, it's just wading and sloshing through water or along the shore and enjoying the countless amazing views in this incredibly scenic canyon. The farther down canyon you get the more space there is for camping and bypass trails along the shore. From the highest springfed pool where the water became constant to the confluence with Clover and WCC, there is a reasonably easy to follow use trail. This trail also reintroduces poison ivy, which was largely absent for a few miles, though it's a bit more avoidable than it was in the drainage leading into the canyon.

Things weren't too bad in the canyon, but up on the rim both before and after the hike, the bugs were relentless. Gnats, see-ums, no-see-ums, hear-ums, black flies, horseflies, dragonflies, elkflies, mooseflies, and baby chucpacabra larvae all feasted despite my skin glowing yellow with 106% pure deet. As I write this, I'm honestly not sure which welts are poison ivy and which are bug bites. Interestingly, there were no mosquitos. But I'm going to start breeding bat colonies to bring with me if this kind of thing ever happens again. ](*,)

Despite that, it was a fantastic weekend, and I'd do it again next week without thinking twice! :)

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Maxwell Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full
A skunky tank with cattle pooping in it. Gotta be a better option if you're thirsty.
_____________________
Profound observer
1 archive
Jun 17 2017
MountainMatt
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 Guides 3
 Routes 192
 Photos 2,777
 Triplogs 441

27 male
 Joined Jan 24 2016
 Arizona
Willow ValleyPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jun 17 2017
MountainMatt
Canyoneering16.27 Miles 1,350 AEG
Canyoneering16.27 Miles1 Day   4 Hrs   36 Mns   
1,350 ft AEG55 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
chumley
JoelHazelton
Ol Chums already gave the meat and potatoes about this hike so I'll just add my little side.
I am currently typing this triplog with the worst poison ivy rashes I've ever had!
Legs, forearms, shoulders, back and even a few areas where the sun doesn't shine were also affected! :o

I also made this my first ever backpacking trip hiking in sandals which ended up being the worst idea ever!
I used a pair of Coleman brand teva style sandals that completely failed for me, the awkward foot positions, constant boulder hopping and swimming proved to be too much for the straps to hold.
I found myself constantly adjusting them to stay on and even had to wrap bungee cords around them which finally kept them in position.
The aftermath may be the worst part though because I'm almost certain I now have a stress fracture in my metatarsals due to the improper footwear and heavy weight.

Also to mention my backpack strap almost completely ripped off but luckily Chumley went into full Mcgyver mode and weaved some paracord from the strap to the frame which fortunately held up the remainder of the trip.

Regardless of the gear failures and poison ivy the beauty and silence within the canyon made me forget about all of that!
Even though Willow Valley itself is not necessarily in a remote area the canyon bottom feels very isolated and was completely filled with signs of wildlife.

I encountered more piles of bear scat than I've ever seen, all that's was missing was the bear which we still haven't came to the conclusion as to what animal we passed that was decomposing in a section of the creek.
It was just a large black mass wasting away in shallow water which filled the air of a quarter mile radius with the stench of rotted flesh.
Needless to say as the hike and heat went on a totally forgot about it and found myself drinking unfiltered creek water until Joel questioned my sanity. :sweat:

I definitely underestimated just how idyllic and impressive this canyon was and will most certainly find myself coming back here one day!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Maxwell Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
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http://www.mattwhelanphotography.com/
Jul 09 2016
chumley
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 Guides 75
 Routes 667
 Photos 13,238
 Triplogs 1,423

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Tramway Maxwell LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 09 2016
chumley
Hiking11.46 Miles 1,192 AEG
Hiking11.46 Miles   6 Hrs   38 Mns   2.25 mph
1,192 ft AEG   1 Hour   32 Mns Break
 
Partners partners
Blanco
John9L
LindaAnn
Looking for a short day trip to cool off in the clear water of WCC we decided on the Tramway Maxwell Loop. Knowing this was an ideal summer hike for pups, I decided to dognap Cup and Blanco and give them a little exercise in the woods.

Turned out to be a great day. The WCC portion of the trail was more overgrown than I remember with less of a developed route to follow. Especially upstream of Maxwell. But once we reached Willow, there was a surprisingly good use trail most of the way. I actually found this area of canyon to be much more scenic and interesting than the upper WCC part. I'll have to come back and try the loop from farther up that hits the cold swimmers.

There was a lot of algae on the rocks and underwater footing was as slippery as I can ever remember it being. And Willow has a ton of poison ivy. Rumor has it 9L is currently working on his 14th application of Tecnu since arriving home! :)
Geology
Geology
Tafoni
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Profound observer
Jul 09 2016
LindaAnn
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 Guides 22
 Routes 359
 Photos 2,325
 Triplogs 948

39 female
 Joined Dec 24 2007
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Tramway Maxwell LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 09 2016
LindaAnn
Hiking11.71 Miles 1,198 AEG
Hiking11.71 Miles   6 Hrs   42 Mns   2.27 mph
1,198 ft AEG   1 Hour   32 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
chumley
John9L
I had one free day this weekend, and Chumley invited me to join in on a hike to WCC. I hadn't done the Tramway-Maxwell loop in more than ten years, so I was happy to tag along.

It was a warm hike from the road down to the creek, so as soon as I saw water, I was happy to jump in. It was not nearly as cold as I expected it to be. Good thing too, because there was plenty of time spent wading through the water on this one. The vegetation was very overgrown--more so than I could ever remember seeing down there. We made our way through the brush, and the creek when necessary. Even though the rocks were very slick, with poles, I thought it was easier to walk through the water than the brush.

After a stop for lunch, we headed up Willow. I thought the scenery in Willow was great, and the path was better. At times, it felt like walking through marshland, and was very easy to get through. We passed a few small caves/alcoves that looked like they would be great places to camp. I think Chumley aimed to walk through every patch of poison ivy in the canyon, maybe just to see if we'd follow him though it.

We found some slightly better paths in a few places on the way back to Maxwell. The climb out felt harder than I expected it to be--maybe because my shoes were soaked through, and each step I took felt like I had a five pound weight attached to each ankle.

Fun day, and perfect weather to spend down in the creek. And it was nice to run into Joe & Bruce at the gas station in Payson--nice to meet both of you!
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Jul 09 2016
John9L
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 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 Jul 09 2016
John9L
Hiking11.46 Miles 1,192 AEG
Hiking11.46 Miles
1,192 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners partners
chumley
LindaAnn
Nice day out in WCC. The canyon never disappoints and this was another wonderful trip.
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1 archive
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
_____________________
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
Nov 24 2012
Slinger05
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 Photos 19
 Triplogs 2

36 male
 Joined May 09 2012
 Paradise Valley,
Willow ValleyPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Nov 24 2012
Slinger05
Canyoneering6.50 Miles 760 AEG
Canyoneering6.50 Miles1 Day         
760 ft AEG35 LBS Pack
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
II - Normally requires a half day
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The service road to get to the trail took at least an hour. We traveled by truck which is highly recommended for this trail. We arrived after sunset and had to do some night driving for at least 30 minutes. It was cold..very cold in November. I remember scrambling to find wood so we could get a fire going asap.

The trail down the canyon was a little difficult to find without a waypoint. Once you find the trail marker/head it's an easy way down and it's almost impossible to go off the trail. It was quite a hike down but the views are amazing. I'd say it took about 1/2 hour to get to the bottom and about 45 minutes to climb/hike up.

We parked at MGRS: 12S VD 6282 2369 which is about as close to the trail as possible.

There's was little water at the bottom from where we ended up. I'm thinking we were either at the end of the trail.
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Jul 31 2011
Vaporman
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 8,687
 Triplogs 931

40 male
 Joined Mar 28 2005
 SLC, Utah
Shamrock CanyonPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jul 31 2011
Vaporman
Canyoneering8.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
Canyoneering8.00 Miles   9 Hrs   45 Mns   0.82 mph
1,000 ft AEG
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
II - Normally requires a half day
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Well I was a little tired from hitting Horsetank Wash the day before but a cute gal talked me into another canyon up on the rim. I choose Shamrock since it was the only WCC canyon I hadn't done already this summer and I felt I could safely get her down canyon with no issues with her limited canyon experience. :)

That 142F is marked well this summer, so making my way up it in my car wasn't a problem at all. After driving a few miles up that road, I parked at a junction near the exit canyon and dropped down east into Shamrock canyon. It's a tad higher up canyon than in Todd's book, but it's a gentle slope and you get to see more of the lush scenic canyon and I get to test out more of her down climbing skills before reaching the main technical narrows. ;) We encountered loads of mossy down climbs, some small narrows that we bypasses, and loads of canyon stew before reaching the first optional rappel. I could of down climbed that initial 10ft drop but no point taking the risk with her and being on rope made it easier to avoid that stinky keeper pothole. And I was able to use the rope to help keep her out of it also. :D The water is only waist deep in a few sections and it's the middle of summer so I opted to forgo the wetsuits but that also meant out skin took more of a beating on the down climbs & pesky vegetation. : rambo : This is soon followed by a mossy chute that requires a controlled slide to land on some submerged logs to avoid getting completely wet. After going thru another vegetated narrows, you hit the first bolted rappel of about 30ft into a waist deep pool with another bolt on the right. Pull ropes and re-rig for at least 100ft of rope both sides so you can get you about 50ft down into the hallway, across that pools, and if you want to avoid the keeper you lean hard right LDC past the arch and over the fin of sandstone. She's not ready for a keeper and I didn't want to carry more than 200ft of rope, so I figured this was the best setup for us. :) Another 30ft log-choked rappel is just around the corner with another 60ft open drop just beyond that. Below is a great sunny spot for lunch and to drop the technical gear before bushwhacking your way to the beautiful West Clear Creek. :D

The technical canyon is short so I recommended we venture up the scenic Willow Valley for a couple hours. It was of course as amAZing as ever with it's many cool swimmers, tall colorful sandstone walls, and lush vegetation. We got a good 2-3 miles upstream before turning around and heading back to WCC. Back at the confluence, we picked up our technical gear and headed downstream a bit for the steep exit canyon. The exit was of course steep and full of more poison ivy & stinging nettle but we were able to avoid most of it thankfully. ;) It was SO nice to be done with that sweaty steep hike out of WCC with less than an hour of light left. :sweat:
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Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
Jul 22 2011
metalmansion81
avatar

 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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Jul 02 2011
AHOTE
avatar

 Photos 32
 Triplogs 470

male
 Joined Nov 05 2006
 Chandler, AZ
Willow ValleyPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jul 02 2011
AHOTE
Canyoneering8.50 Miles 760 AEG
Canyoneering8.50 Miles
760 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Plus walk back on the road.
_____________________
1 archive
Apr 16 2011
Vaporman
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 8,687
 Triplogs 931

40 male
 Joined Mar 28 2005
 SLC, Utah
Willow ValleyPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Apr 16 2011
Vaporman
Canyoneering20.00 Miles 1,500 AEG
Canyoneering20.00 Miles1 Day   3 Hrs      
1,500 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
I was looking for non-technical overnighter up on the rim to just getting away from it all and mid-April is usually when all the rim roads re-open so I figured I'd drive up and see how much snow was left and which roads I could access and was pleased to see no snow and the roads pretty much all re-opened. :y:

I worked that Saturday morning, but I drove up that afternoon and got a few miles in on FR142 before parking and beelining across the rim towards middle Tom's Creek and dropped in via a steep side drainage. It'd been SO long since I'd been in WCC that I was quickly enchanted by even a hint of the sandstone goodness yet to come. :D Followed Tom's Creek downstream to its confluence with Clover Creek and continued on to the confluence with Willow Valley and the beginning of WCC and setup camp at a sweet campsite nearby. Nice, it only took 3 hours of scenic rock hopping to get here. :sweat: Heated up a Mountain House, rolled out my bag & pad, made a small fire, watched as the full moon lit up the canyon thru the clouds, and listened to the many canyon sounds. ;)

Woke up early the next cool morning, did the morning rituals, and made an early trek up Willow Valley to the 'springs'. The morning stayed cool and the water was chilly, so I avoided the creek when possible and stuck to less scenic side trails. The deciduous trees and ferns and grass haven't all grown back yet with much evidence of some massive winter flows that rushed thru here, but Willow Valley was still just as amAZingly beautiful as she ever is. :D On the way up, I saw a handful of geese and even a few elk grazing down in the creek. Once at the springs, I chilled at took a lunch break & power nap before returning downstream and taking loads more photos in the better light. At the confluence & back at camp, I packed back up my full backpack and by then I'd decided I wasn't going to return the way I came in but instead continue down WCC and exit up 142E trail and walk 142 back to my car. :sweat: It's been a few years since I'd hiked straight thru this part of WCC so I was kinna surprised and how close every thing was together. :lol: Before I knew it I was passing the Maxwell trail, Tramway trail, the springs and Sundance Canyon already?!? :o I crossed the waist hike chilly creek to enter the Cathedral of lower Sundance Canyon as was treated with the lightly trickling 180ft falls and a 6th high ice/snow mound at the bottom. After checking that out, I continued around the corner and up the 142E trail and was pleased that I'd still have plenty of light for the LONG road walk back to my car. :sweat:

WOW, West Clear Creek always has a way of blowing my mind every spring/early summer with it's amAZing beauty and I can't wait to start canyoneering here again. :y:
Fauna
Fauna
Elk
_____________________
Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
Aug 14 2010
toddak
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,071
 Triplogs 399

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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Jul 16 2010
berkforbes
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 Photos 34
 Triplogs 63

33 male
 Joined Mar 18 2008
 phoenix
Maxwell Trail #37Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Jul 16 2010
berkforbes
Backpack4.00 Miles 700 AEG
Backpack4.00 Miles3 Days         
700 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
steveforbes
Great 3day trip with my dad, sister, and her friend Kurt.

Had planned on dropping in at the Maxwell tank, but we couldnt find the trail down, so we went over to Maxwell trail instead and cut our losses. Thankfully we had camp set up by 2pm friday because once the rain started falling it didnt stop until about 7pm that evening.. It was nice chilling in the hammock under the tarp and relaxing as it rained, but it also made me a bit stir crazy.. Luckily the clouds broke saturday morning by about 10am and we got everything dried out, did some exploring and hiking up and down the canyons as well as a bit of swimming..

As for the directions in, FR81 is actually closer to 7 miles in off of Lake Mary Rd. And i would def not recommend taking a car, we didnt, but there are some decent size rocks on the road about 3 miles out from the TH that im pretty sure most cars wouldnt be able to negotiate.
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-Henry David Thoreau
Jul 05 2010
Vaporman
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 8,687
 Triplogs 931

40 male
 Joined Mar 28 2005
 SLC, Utah
Shamrock CanyonPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jul 05 2010
Vaporman
Canyoneering12.50 Miles 1,200 AEG
Canyoneering12.50 Miles   10 Hrs   30 Mns   1.19 mph
1,200 ft AEG
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
II - Normally requires a half day
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Woo, finally got around to doing the last 'published' technical canyon of WCC! :y: I had been putting this one off because of many reasons like it required 2 long ropes, rough road in, keeper pothole, not rated very high, possibly needed a wetsuit, and it tough to convince someone to tag along... Well today was the day and it'd been WAY too long since my last solo adventure! :D

So that 142F isn't marked too good and I didn't want to beat my car up too much, so I just got out turned on the GPS and huffed an additional two miles to the canyon. I ended up just dropping into the middle section of the canyon and hit a couple nice sections of narrows that I bypassed for the most part before reaching the canyon register. Hmm, no one else has signed in since Steve & Todd were here last summer... :-k The short & sweet narrow section starts with a few downclimbs & pools and then you hit that 40ft rap from a sweet keyhole ledge into waist-high pool. I'm glad I didn't bring a wetsuit because I only got wet up to my waist. ;) Rappel #2 is the 'tricky' one of the day that starts with a 60ft drop, goes thru a pool, and then drops down to that big teardrop-shaped keeper, so I broke out my 2 200ft ropes and set them up for full length. The rappel thru this final section of narrows was pretty sweet, but that keeper is SO easily avoidable it was comical that I'd been fearing it all day. :lol: Maybe if I was with others, I'd give that keeper a try but for now I'll just snap a picture and keep on going. So I rap the additional 20-25ft from that arch ledge and the flipping centermark of my 200ft is sitting on the ground. :x Ohh snap!?! You mean I could have done this canyon with a single 200ft rope and I'm needlessly taking the 2nd one for a walk all day... :roll: Afterwards there were loads of treefall to avoid, a 30ft drop, then a cool 60ft, and then loads of rock/boulder hopping before reaching the amazingly beautiful WCC confluence. :) So I was thinking that if I had time I'd run up Willow Valley a bit, but I ran thru Shamrock so fast I had loads of time left and decided to hit the most scenic section by going a few miles upstream to the 'springs' and back. So I dropped the ropes and gear at a campsite I used the last time I was down here and made the long rock hop upstream. On the way up since it was warmer, I stuck mostly to the creek and did a few swimmers but on the way back I stuck mostly to the trail whenever I could find them avoiding most of the pools. The 'springs' were as amazing as ever, quite the gem to behold! :o After eating a quick lunch and taking a power nap, I turned around and made pretty good time back to the confluence. It was tough throwing those two ropes back on my back especially considering I only really needed one of them today, but I sucked it up and headed downstream WCC towards the steep exit canyon. This is a popular section of the creek so I was able to follow trails most of the way and the exit canyon wasn't too tough to locate esp with a GPS. I broke out the gloves, put the pant legs back on, a longer shirt and made the steep brushy ascent back up to the rim. : rambo : It's not the nicest way out of WCC, but it works and it wasn't too unpleasant and before you know it I'm back on the forrest roads walking to my car after a long exhausting yet highly rewarding day. :D
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Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
Aug 09 2009
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 Aug 09 2009
nonot
Canyoneering6.00 Miles 760 AEG
Canyoneering6.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.50 mph
760 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
II - Normally requires a half day
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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I didn't do the whole thing. I went from where Maxwell trail reaches WCC upstream about 2.5 miles and back. I swam and waded alot going upstream and was having a great time. I can't recall swimming w/ hiking poles before. :) The water was cool and invigorating!

On the way back I followed all the bypass trails. You can go 95% of the way on the trails, the difficulty is locating them.

On the way back I found a ton of campsites, and unfortunately a good deal of trash and graffiti. I also discovered some access trails from the rim east of the confluence w/Clover creek.

There was a rather obstinate raptor that kept dive bombing me as I waded and hopped through the boggy marsh he called home. I was getting angry but then I remembered that I was the one trespassing in his backyard.

It really is very marshy right now, expect to get wet and muddy!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
Jun 13 2009
Vaporman
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 8,687
 Triplogs 931

40 male
 Joined Mar 28 2005
 SLC, Utah
Clover Creek CanyonPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jun 13 2009
Vaporman
Canyoneering28.00 Miles 1,500 AEG
Canyoneering28.00 Miles2 Days   4 Hrs      
1,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Well I was looking for a way to access upper WCC this summer with just my car and then toddak posted this timely trail writeup. :bigth: I've done that Willow Valley a few times, but I always wondered what WCC's other drier fork would be like to hike. I left work around noon on Friday and drove north to the FR142/AZ87 junction and parked at that small parking lot just off of the highway to save some wear on my car and just hiked the half mile up the meadows and over the ridge to the TH. From there it's just as the writeup describes with an easy old road to hike at first as it snakes around, then a couple miles in it narrows up a bit with some small pools/rock hopping/log jams for a few miles, and then it dries up and gets easier again for another mile until it reaches Tom's Creek. It was around 7pm when I reached that confluence (took about 3.5 hours to hike thus far) and decided to take advantage of the good camping spots instead of pushing on to the WCC confluence. :zzz: After a pleasant night of camping, I packed up and continued on a couple more hours down the last few miles of Clover. That last stretch of hiking was only moderate with mostly dry boulder hopping, only a handful of logs to get around, and some pleasant strolls along the small creek. I found another great camping spot just at the end of Clover at the confluence with WCC and dropped my camping gear there to be my base camp for the weekend. With just my waterproofed gear for water hiking, I continued up that scenic Willow Springs a few miles to the 'springs' that the creek flows from and ate lunch and enjoyed the beautiful day in that amazing canyon. I took a short creekside nap before heading back and since it had warmed up nicely, I swam the few optional swimmers on the way downstream. :GB: I got to camp late in the afternoon and had some time to burn, so I checked out the bottom of that Shamrock Canyon nearby, gathered some firewood to make a fire, and read a few magazines better turning in for the night. If Saturday was my day to relax, then Sunday was definitely the day to get my butt kicked... :sweat: Sunday morning, I woke up early again with the sun and hit WCC downstream a few miles going past Maxwell, Tramway, a short into the echo chamber of Sundance Canyon, 142E trail, and then took a short sidetrip up the bottom of Bear Canyon before heading back upstream. I passed a good dozen good campsite in those few miles and about half of them were filled on this 'busy' weekend. On the way back, I also verified the locations of those 142E & Tramway trails by hiking up them briefly since I haven't hiked down them yet but wanted to make sure I knew where they were in case I needed to bail on them during future WCC trips. 8) I got back to my camp at the Clover/WCC/Willow Valley confluence around 1pm and loaded my camping gear up for the hike out up Clover. I was starting to drag those few miles up to the Tom's Creek confluence and decided to experiment with a potentially shorter more direct route up Tom's Creek and then bushwhack it up and over to FR142. I figured if Tom's Creek was technical I would have heard about it by now or read about it in Todd's book... :lol: I stuck to that windy creek about a mile before finding a bushy hikeable side canyon full of fallen trees that was heading in the direction I needed to hit that forrest road. It was a little steep, but I kept pushing up to the ridge, got a GPS lock, headed in the direction of my car, and shortly ran into that FR142 following it a couple miles to AZ87 and my car. :sweat: It ended up being about two miles shorter and saved me another two hours of tiring canyon hiking. Yet another great adventure into WCC for an amazing 2.5 day trip... :D
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Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
Aug 02 2008
AHOTE
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 Photos 32
 Triplogs 470

male
 Joined Nov 05 2006
 Chandler, AZ
Willow ValleyPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Aug 02 2008
AHOTE
Canyoneering6.50 Miles 760 AEG
Canyoneering6.50 Miles
760 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Jun 29 2008
Vaporman
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 8,687
 Triplogs 931

40 male
 Joined Mar 28 2005
 SLC, Utah
Willow ValleyPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Jun 29 2008
Vaporman
Backpack9.50 Miles 760 AEG
Backpack9.50 Miles2 Days         
760 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I had to work Saturday morning and needed to get back in town by Sunday afternoon, so I did something I normally don't and made an overnighter of this loop. I could only bring so much camping gear due to the swimmers, so sleeping was a tad uncomfortable but other than that this place was as beautiful as ever. I even saw a small bear in the drainage on the way into Willow Valley. :D
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Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
1 archive
average hiking speed 1.47 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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