The falls are actually a pleasant 40 … About two miles downriver from Tramway, on the south side, is an unnamed trail leading down from forest road 142E. You’ll need a license, of course, which you can pick up in Flagstaff, Sedona, Camp Verde, or most likely one of the smaller towns in the area. of swimming in a natural pool is not lost in Upstate New York. The route runs through a suspension bridge over Clear Creek and then on the right along the creek. There is a pavilion and picnic tables, bathrooms, it is very nice. Contribute. While they are all worth exploring, the crown jewel of the region is West Clear Creek. I can’t imagine driving there without in case it rained. Impending weather should be considered a sign of a potential flash flood. If you’re ambitious enough, climb further up and you’ll find yet another swimming hole. Hike to the … Blodgett Basin Trail #31. Plunge into the cool water for an invigorating swim at this natural waterhole near Alice Springs. Blue Hole. The trees didnt have leaves yet and the water was still pretty chilly, but that didnt stop us from getting into the summer spirit. So beautiful! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Like and Share. West Clear Creek Trail #17. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Located in the Sumter National Forest, this swimming hole’s name is a portmanteau of the Chauga River and Ramsey Creek. Add Photo (s) Drop Photo (s) This page is a stub. Losing your pack isn’t really a concern, but submerging it will add weight; and if you haven’t waterproofed well you could be in trouble. Required fields are marked *. There is an amazing swimming hole with a rope swing located on Meadow Branch of Sleepy Creek Just below Devil’s Nose. This is a popular summer swimming hole at a bend in Clear Creek. Getting to West Clear Creek. Most of the hikers in the canyon enter at Bull Pen State Park in the southern end of the canyon. You’ll get to see a nice section of the upper canyon, and a good swim. He is an aspiring surfer, member of the Southern California Mountaineers Association, and likes to explore mountains and canyons. Right below here the narrows start and through hikers can expect to swim many, many times before the lower section of the canyon (I counted at least forty swims on my last trip through). Credit Pierce Ingram. From here you have options to swim, river hike, and fish, although the best swimming holes are deeper into the canyon. This is the last exit from the canyon for about two days. And it’s wise to pack for an extra night or two: extra fuel, water purification, and some dehydrated food, as well as a reliable first aid kit. Cool water species such as smallmouth bass and green sunfish populate the stream near the campground. You just need to follow "Swimming Hole" signs. Hard to imagine a better swimming hole than Bull Pen, a deep pool along West Clear Creek. Fun for kids, teens, adults. Find the best places to swim near Clear Creek Campground. Photo: Donny Barnec. bobcat (creator) Take Highway 89 from Sedona to Flagstaff, through Oak Creek Canyon, and you will encounter cliffs, spires, and winding switchback roads that lurch up 2000 feet over a few miles. Credit: Strawberry Park Hot Springs Link Copied to Clipboard. But this treasure isn’t without tribulations. Thick with vegetation and lacking much in the way of developed trails or signage, West Clear Creek Wilderness is true back country for most of its 40 or so miles, with limited access, by either vehicle or foot, along the way. West Clear Creek Swimming Hole is a swimming hole on West Clear Creek in Mogollon Rim, Coconino National Forest, AZ. The FallGal and myself brought our 13 year old daughter along to fill her shoes. The waterfall is gorgeous, but it’s the setting and the remote nature of the swimming hole that provide the wow factor here. In every corner of the state, there's a beautiful swimming hole to cool down with a relaxing dip in the crystal-clear water. Thanks for the valuable information. Trail. Please enjoy and respect! The FallGal and myself brought our 13 year old daughter along to fill her shoes. You are going to have to drive down a five mile long, pretty decent dirt road and hike about 2/3 of a mile along a flat trail to get back to the hole. Learn about swimming holes such as Bullpen Day Use Area, Blodgett Basin Trail No. I was able to catch more than one night’s dinner with very mediocre fly-fishing skills. The narrows close in to 30 feet in some places and rise 100 feet overhead. Cool water species such as smallmouth bass and green... Camp, Hike, Swim swim Swimming Hole hike Hiking Trail camp Campsite Since you’ll be putting your pack right into the drink, make sure you stow everything. 0 Star This. Drive west out Clear Creek Road in southern Redding and head for the Clear Creek overlook. This is the heart of West Clear Creek Wilderness Area. About 3.5 miles into the hike, you'll stumble upon this picture-perfect desert oasis—a clear, cold, deep pool wedged in a slot canyon. Almost all hiking south of here, until about five miles north of Bull Pen, is river hiking, which is to say there are no trails and you will be walking in the water. About 30 miles west of Austin and 50 miles east of Luckenbach, this swimming hole in a spring-fed box canyon is as famous in Texas as Waylon and Willie. A 2.5-mile natural trail with 20 stops and each stop is one of the native plant species. That was the only way we knew how to get there. Superb Article–Thanks A pleasant swimming hole in the West Clear Creek Wilderness in central Arizona. Near Trails. More Links . It winds along Wet Beaver Creek with several side trails down to the water. Those comfortable driving at 60-miles per hour with the window down can experience pine scent in high relief, like the smell of smoke where nothing should be burning, as they wind their way out of the barren lands of southern Arizona. From there it’s another three miles to the access trail leading to forest road 142J and Cash Tank. Hiking poles or a walking stick (which you’ll find plenty of along the way) are essential for keeping your balance on slick rocks in the river. Swimming through these sections is chilly work, requiring at least a basic idea of how to swim with a pack and keep your gear dry (discussed at the end of this article). Depending on where in the roughly 200-mile crosscut of Arizona you make this transition, the journey from desert to mountain can be smooth or abrupt. Drive 45 minutes south of Austin to reach the glorious Blue Hole, located just outside of Wimberley. Trail. Trail. Learn about swimming holes such as West Clear Creek Trail No. When you think of a swimming hole, this is probably what you envisage: a large volume of water cascading into a big, deep pond flanked by 20-metre cliffs. At its headwaters are Willow Creek and Clover Creek, whose waters converge and then flow through WCC’s serpentine maze of basalt and sandstone. The waterway forms a slender riparian corridor that … 0 Star This. You can only imagine the noise and scattered mess of gear at the bottom upon our arrival. This is one of the best views WCC has to offer, and it’s worth noting that it’s just a bit too far from the lower terminus for a day hike. It's about 10 feet at its deepest but swim around before you decide to dive in because some areas are only a few feet deep. The Calloway Trail takes you into the central portion of West Clear Creek. Blodgett Basin Trail #31. Water temperature is warmer than many other spots, a shallow beach is … This swimming hole is at its best after a good wet season. Are the hanging Gardens a part of the hike to Maiden Falls? It also has the added benefit of being waterproof, just in case it ends up in the drink. Prepare for at least one hour of off-road driving in a high clearance vehicle. Image of swimming, rocks, river - 2867133 Clear Creek Campground Camp Verde, Arizona 40.0 miles E. West Clear Creek flows along the boundary of this desert canyon country camp and is a popular place for hiking, swimming, wading and fishing. Much appreciated as I’m deciding what part of the canyon to hike. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The next access point is the Calloway Trail (forest service trail #33), accessible from the south rim of the canyon, via Forest Road 142B, 6 miles south of the State Highway 87/Lake Mary Road split on Highway 87. Metzler Park (Clackamas County Parks) Contributors . The back road from Phoenix to Flagstaff, via state highway 87 through Payson, combines the two experiences. May 4, 2012 - This is the closest we have been to a complete group on our overnights. The only tricks you’ll need here are floating a pack, and packing as lightly as possible. Laurel Creek drops 80 feet, twisting and turning over massive cliffs into a corner of Lake Jocassee, carving a narrow gorge out of the bedrock on its way down. West Clear Creek is well stocked by the forest service with brown trout and various other fish. These spots mark the ends of a steep canyon that is known for waterfalls and slides. (34°33’28.7″N 111°25’13.7″W). West Clear Creek offers water holes for swimming, excellent fishing, and back country camping. Trail. And lastly, the sections of river that are just slightly too shallow to float a pack through are numerous, like stones in the stream. Loved your article – glad to see you writing! Ellery Creek Big Hole, West MacDonnell Ranges. May 4, 2012 - This is the closest we have been to a complete group on our overnights. I saw pictures of The Crack (that never gets old) online and knew what to expect, but I was surprised how pleasant Bell Trail itself was as just a hike. Day 1 The drive from the valley started at 5am on Saturday morning and… Mogollon Rim, Munds Mountain [Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino, and Tonto National Forests] Map, Quartz Trail, McDowell Sonoran Preserve – Scottsdale, Arizona, Tonto Natural Bridge State Park – Payson, Arizona, Maverick Trail, Brown’s Ranch – Scottsdale, Arizona. This scenic watering hole near Aspen offers cliff jumping for the adventurous, since there are 20-foot rock walls surround the punchbowl. Bring layers. Remote solitude, with deep still pools reflecting canyon walls. Walk the trails to discover this canyon that is rugged yet accessible and a great swimming opportunity. Bring duct tape! It is around a mile or so heading down stream to get to this beautiful swimming hole. It is also home to some of Arizona’s most pristine and isolated beauty: the numerous canyons that wind their way through the Mogollon Rim are one of the state’s best kept secrets. For me this is what West Clear Creek is all about. Not only is the swimming terrific; the natural scenery surrounding the swimming hole is absolutely beautiful. The road to Cash Tank Trailhead is no joke. One of my favorite tram memories is two of us deciding to send our duffel ( no tech gear in those days) bag full of camping gear down the cable. Brian writes about science, conservation, and ways that people interact with nature for various publications, as well as his blog, briangruters.com. Get ready to pick up and put down your pack and inner tube assembly ad nauseum. The swimming hole can be accessed by a 0.1-mile easy trail from the parking area. Clear Creek Campground Camp Verde, Arizona 40.0 miles E. West Clear Creek flows along the boundary of this desert canyon country camp and is a popular place for hiking, swimming, wading and fishing. Go toward the campground and follow signs to the Day Use Area. Be careful what you put in your side pockets during dry sections. Splash, doggie-paddle, or float all day. Highlights of this section are the White Box narrows, a 70-yard swim through a corridor of ashen sandstone, and the Hanging Gardens waterfall, a mossy, drippy wonder with space for camping, about two miles south of Cash Tank. This is a good place to set up a shuttle, if you’re interested in day hiking. Passage Creek in Virginia’s George Washington National Forest offers several spots for water lovers to play. Balancing your pack on the inner tube is tricky, especially when the water is moving quickly. Hikers should plan for limited connectivity anywhere upriver from Bull Pen. If you want to avoid some of the crowds at the Bull Pen Trailhead of West Clear Creek this may be your answer. If you want to avoid some of the crowds at the Bull Pen Trailhead of West Clear Creek this may be your answer. Clear Creek State Park: Swimming - See 85 traveler reviews, 76 candid photos, and great deals for Sigel, PA, at Tripadvisor. Note from Cory:  Remember, when packing a map, make sure you bring a dry bag to put it in. Driving up the I-17 corridor, however, you will see the transition from cactus to pine over a hundred miles. Given this type of terrain, it’s wise to look at West Clear Creek as two types of adventure: quick access for out and back hikes, loop hikes, or shuttle hikes that take one to three days; and through hiking or section hiking the entire canyon, which most hikers should expect to take five days. 3. Thanks for sharing!! After the fifth swim or so you stop deflating and inflating the tube, which means you’ll be hiking one-handed, carrying an inner tube, further exposing it to sharp plants. (It’s always advisable to have a paper map, even when you have a handheld GPS. Nice swimming spots that are accessible exist along the first mile of the Red Creek Trail from the Laneville Trailhead. Named one of the top ten best Texas swimming holes regularly, the Blue Hole offers great swimming in the crystal-clear water, as well as camping! 4WD isn’t required but strongly recommended. It makes up the bulk of the Arizona transition zone, bridging the Colorado Plateau, in the northeastern part of the state, and the Basin and Range region in the south. Emerald Pools That has changed -- the state bought the land and now you walk right across it. This swimming hole is fed by a few waterfalls, so expect some clear and gorgeous water. West Clear Creek Trail #17. To access upper West Clear Creek from the north, near Happy Jack, AZ, you should plan to enter on the Tramway Trail, accessible from Forest Road 81E, off Lake Mary Road, 7 miles north of the split from state highway 87. The West Clear Creek Wilderness, established in 1984, is a narrow but lengthy wilderness that follows the contours of West Clear Creek from its western terminus at Bull Pen Ranch to the headwaters of Willow Creek and Clover Creek to the north and east. Blue Hole. A \"trail\" appears off and on. The single advantage to this method is cost, which is in the $10 range—whatever the going rate is for pool toys. West Clear Creek Swimming Hole is a swimming hole on West Clear Creek in Mogollon Rim, Coconino National Forest, AZ. The best place to camp for accessing the west end of the wilderness area (and the West Clear Creek Trail) is along Bull Pen Road (FR 215). Teague O’Mara/Flickr. Take I-17 to Highway 260 at Camp Verde (in between Phoenix and Flagstaff). Anytime you hike in a canyon please notify someone you know, mark the registry at trailheads, and check the weather in the immediate vicinity, as well as upstream near the headwaters. Early on, a swimming hole … We plan to do just that some day. Rounded and smooth sandstone formations surround the waters and shady trees jut out of the rocks. CLEAR CREEK CAMPGROUND [CLEA]: Nice Forest Service campground with a swimming hole in West Clear Creek. Natural Atlas is powered by contributors like you. Some of the highlights of this hike are: beautiful scenery, amazing swimming holes, a super fun rope swing, and cliff jumping. Paper doesn’t run out of batteries.). CLEAR CREEK CAMPGROUND [CLEA]: Nice Forest Service campground with a swimming hole in West Clear Creek. The Blue Hole is a pristine section of land along the creek that has long been the go-to place for Central Texans looking for a picture-perfect Hill Country swimming experience. Strawberry Park Hot Springs Strawberry Park Hot Springs. It’s difficult to describe to someone you spent the day swimming in “The Crack,” much less explain that it’s in “Wet Beaver Creek,” but don’t let a dirty joke deter you from one of Arizona’s better and lesser-trafficked natural swimming holes.. I’m dipping my toe into landscape photography and wanted to catch a good sunrise hike to test out my new (to me) Sony A7II. 3. If you’ve been through hiking, that trail will come out of nowhere and be a very welcome sight. West Clear Creek From Flagstaff, take Lake Mary Road to Forest Road 81, which is about 7 or 8 miles past the Happy Jack Ranger Station. But, the water is cool and refreshing during the hot Arizona Summer. (34°33’28.7″N 111°25’13.7″W)Source: USDA.gov From here you have options to swim, river hike, and fish, although the best swimming holes are deeper into the canyon. Even though we visited in early spring, the weather was already starting to warm up quite a bit. Guest post by Brian Gruters. Devil’s Punchbowl is a local favorite swimming spot and for good reason. ...."From the trailhead, West Clear Creek Trail #17 follows a very wide maintained path. The road to Cash Tank Trailhead is no joke. Go toward the campground and follow signs to the Day Use Area. Take RT 86 west, then: TEA CREEK [TEAC]: Hike from Tea Creek Campground in Monongahela N.F. West Clear Creek (WCC) Wilderness Area starts in the ponderosa pine forests on the north side of the Mogollon Rim, about 40 minutes southeast of Flagstaff. Turn east and drive about 3 miles to the Bullpen Ranch trailhead. To know Arizona well, a person needs to be familiar with the Mogollon Rim (pronounced “MO-ghee-on”) region of the state, stretching from the northwest corner of Yavapai County, halfway between Prescott and Kingman, to the New Mexico border. Less crowded is the Blue Hole. To get here, continue east on RT 260 past the turnoff for FR 618 (above) a short way to a sign for Clear Creek Campground. PHOTO . The scenery is stunning but the journey is challenging. West Clear Creek near Hanging Gardens is so remote and difficult to reach that I only saw three people during the whole trip. Here are details on how to get there. General Information Directions: Location: 53 miles south of Flagstaff on paved and graveled forest roads in picturesque Desert Canyon Country.. GPS (): 34°32'23.7"N 111°42'23.8"WAccess: Take the Hwy. Found in Australia’s North West, the famous fern pool is a peaceful haven tucked away in the Karijini National Park and is the perfect swimming hole for one of the country’s warmest regions. Red Creek drops sharply in the steep canyon to provide swimming holes and waterfalls. Hard to imagine a better swimming hole than Bull Pen, a deep pool along West Clear Creek. 179 exit on I-17.Drive about 9 miles from I-17 south-east on FR 618 to FR 215. Rewarding you with its twisting path downstream to serenity, solitude and canyoneering fun. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. The crystal-clear waters of Blue Hole stay an ideal 75 degrees all year round, and are shaded by towering cypress trees. Green River Gorge Swimming Hole (H) Central Cascades - Stevens Pass. Several portions of the river form narrows—high-walled sections where the river reaches from wall to wall—which are challenging yet gorgeous obstacles for anyone planning to hike. Just don’t miss the trail or you’ll find yourself walking into a very long canyon. Find the best places to swim near West Clear Creek Trail No. About two miles downriver from Big Spring is a trail that continues through several campsites and finally leads to Bull Pen Ranch, just 12 miles east of Camp Verde, AZ. West Clear Creek Trail, Camp Verde. West Clear Creek. We are missing Doc since she is still in Colorado "learning" stuff. If you want more excitement however, check out two spots deeper in the wilderness. Pack the sleeping roll for an overnighter at Beaver Creek Campground. Getting to West Clear Creek . A beautiful waterfall area near Helen is Dukes Creek Falls, and this is also a great swimming hole. Near Trails. 4. Being a significant Aboriginal site, the area has a very spiritual feel. Take Route 55 west from Front Royal for five miles and then turn south onto Fort Valley Road. WOW Brian! Take FR 81 for about 4 miles to FR 81E. There are 40 fishable miles throughout the wilderness area. Emerald Pools. Also, before venturing out into primitive wilderness areas with lightly marked, or unmarked trails, you should brush up on your navigation skills and do your own independent research of the area. The Mogollon Rim, Munds Mountain [Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino, and Tonto National Forests] Map from National Geographic, Trails Illustrated covers the West Clear Creek Area, among others, and makes a good companion for your trip. Park (pay fee) and follow a short trail down to the creek (you will have to cross an … A well-maintained dirt track allows cars to drive close to this oasis, leaving just a little under a mile of flat trail to the creek. Bell Trail follows Wet Beaver Creek to one of the most sought-after swimming holes in the region: The Crack. Tweet Share Email. This moderately easy to reach swimming hole is located about 15 miles east of Camp Verde along West Clear Creek. After a long cold winter, many of the locals had Spring Fever and were more than ready to break out the tank-tops and flip-flops. Everywhere else all but guarantees solitude. This place can get packed, so get an early start and remember to practice the "pack it in, pack it out" philosophy when visiting. Some canyoneering is technical, requiring advanced skills in anchor building, rappelling, navigation, etc. Your email address will not be published. The swimming hole can be accessed by a 0.1-mile easy trail from the parking area. Contribute. 2. You just need to follow "Swimming Hole" signs. Bob Crouch, Your email address will not be published. Like and Share. Do keep in mind that the water’s temperature here is quite cold, even in the summer months. While not a true swimming hole, Slide Rock is a popular location for people to cool off in the summer. Coconino sandstone walls encase the lush canyon. To my knowledge there are no access point in this whole section (unless you rock climb). It isn’t technical, just long. I’m so glad to read some of the history of the cable down there on this site. about 3 miles (each way) to swimming hole in Tea Creek . At .8 miles, you will come to the first of four creek crossings. 2)  For a little more money you can invest in a light pack with holes to drain water, plus a dry bag, which will keep your stuff dry and—bonus—trap air so that your pack floats in the water. It gets cold when the sun goes down. First Post - West Clear Creek - Tramway Trail This beautiful canyon offers natural springs, secret side canyons, and ample pools for fishing and swimming. 17, Bullpen Day Use Area, Blodgett Basin Trail No. Click here for more information. Day 1 The drive from the valley started at 5am on Saturday morning and… Since your shoes will be wet every night, bring warm socks, crocs, or something else light and dry to put on your feet. Chickamauga Creek Distance from Nashville: 68 miles Guests of the bed and breakfast have long boasted about the 40 acres of serene forest, Cooper’s Lagoon swimming hole, and …