Camping at West Clear Creek, July 2016

Mary Ann and I went camping at West Clear Creek on the Mogollon Rim. We went to the same place last year. I described how to get there and how difficult the trail into the canyon is on the post here. This year we hiked into the canyon early in the morning, and were prepared to hike through the water in the canyon bottom.

It’s really gorgeous in the canyon bottom. There are a lot of beautiful pools that are also good for swimming. The water is clear and cold – good for a hot day. The canyon walls are awesome. We hiked about a half mile up the canyon. I included photographs of some of the pools along the way.

We encountered a couple of groups backpacking in the canyon. There was a group of 7 that were hiking out when we were hiking down. They all had large backpacks, and had been in the canyon for 4 days. At the bottom there was a pair of backpackers camped near the trail who helped us find the trail to start down the canyon. We also saw a group of 5 hiking and swimming.

I mentioned in the last post (link is above) how difficult the trail is. I included some pictures to try to give a better idea (maybe too many pictures). I’ve been exercising regularly (running) and I can tell it’s really helped compared to last year. I wasn’t very tired at the top, and wasn’t sore the next day.

There are some very nice areas for camping at the top of the canyon, a short distance from the trail head (approximately 0.2 miles). It is typical for the Mogollon Rim this time of year that there are afternoon thunderstorms. On Thursday afternoon we got a heavy rain for about 1/2 hour. On Friday we were surrounded by thunderstorms with a lot of thunder and distant lightning. We only got a very light sprinkle which cooled us off and was nice, and so light that we enjoyed it by the camp fire without moving under the EZ-Up.

I didn’t get many bird photographs. The Western Bluebirds and Nuthatches (both Pygmy and White-breasted Nuthatches) were very common. I included some not so good pictures of them. We saw/heard others, but no photos (Red-tailed Hawk, Mountain Chickadee, Northern Flicker, Acorn Woodpecker, Canyon Wren, Black Phoebe, etc).

I got a cool app (in my opinion) for my android phone that let me track where we were on a National Forest Service map without having cell coverage. The Forest Service has a pdf file for a map of the Coconino National Forest here. Then I downloaded a free app called ‘PDF Maps’. With the forest service map and this app I could track where I was with only GPS working, so no cell coverage needed (I put phone in airplane mode to save power). The app has features that let me mark exactly where our campsite is, and where the trail starts and ends, and how far we hiked down the canyon, etc.

Here are the pictures:

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  1. Terry Kenny
    Posted July 31, 2016 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    The water looks so clear in those pools! But I don’t know if I would like that so called trail–it doesn’t even look like a trail!!

  2. Ricci
    Posted August 1, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful scenery but looks like a tough hike. You would have had to shoot me if I was there.

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