.......... .. .. ........... "Once In A While You Get Shown The Light In The Strangest Of Places If You Look At It Right" :Robert Hunter

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Return to West Clear Creek

The post for West Clear Creek, AZ  is one of the most viewed on my blog. So I thought I might return to the subject. Here is a short little video clip I took from right near my tent one of the several times I camped overnight in the canyon.

This time of year with all the monsoon rain there is significant danger of flash floods so wait until late September. Here is the same falls from another angle.

Both sides of the falls have nice flat benches to camp on. As you can see it's all rock so if you want to use a tent, you will need one that does not require tent stakes. My friend is fighting with one that does and I'm all set up and making the video.
As you head in you will have to swim in several locations in order to get very far. So all you stuff must be in water proof bags, and something to help float your pack is very helpful. If you don't use some type of floatation device your pack will soak up water and be even heavier.
To float my pack I use two cheap foam camp pads doubled over and strapped to my pack. Blow up stuff just gets popped by all the branches and stuff you have to fight through.
You will come to several places where the cliffs come right out of the water on both sides. So because of this you will need shoes that can get wet. Problem is you will also be hauling a pack in some very rugged conditions. I just swim in some light weight hiking boots. Water shoes and sandals will just get your feet beaten up, and you will be very sorry. Leather boots will shrink so synthetic materials are a good choice.
This canyon will wear you out even if you are in good shape, so be prepared. There is no cell service and it would be a difficult rescue, if you get hurt, or are unable to get out on your own.
But the beauty and solitude of this canyon is well worth the difficult conditions it takes to access. In fact that is what makes it fun and keeps it from being overrun by day hikers like Oak Creek Canyon is.
And once you get to a spot like this one you get to put you pack down and enjoy swimming in one of the best swimming holes in Arizona. And then you have a base camp to explore more of the canyon un-encumbered by the weight of a pack.
here is the link to my other posts about this canyon. That will give you more information about trail head locations, and other info you might need.

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