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. Please enjoy and respect! These 10 West Virginia swimming holes are guaranteed to give you a splashing good time. Superb Article–Thanks West Clear Creek flows along the boundary of this desert canyon country camp and is a popular place for hiking, swimming, wading and fishing. 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. Like and Share. Ellery Creek Big Hole, West MacDonnell Ranges. Before you get there, plan on making at least one short swim, and possibly more, depending on the water level. Local legend says the 8-year-old son of a rancher discovered the spot in the 1880s, and overheated locals and … Emerald Pools There are 40 fishable miles throughout the wilderness area. To my knowledge there are no access point in this whole section (unless you rock climb). Red Creek drops sharply in the steep canyon to provide swimming holes and waterfalls. You’ll come up to a natural waterslide that plunges into the swimming hole area. Getting to West Clear Creek . 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. The waterfall is gorgeous, but it’s the setting and the remote nature of the swimming hole that provide the wow factor here. Like and Share. Once on the canyon floor you will find yourself at a very shallow part of the creek. If you want more excitement however, check out two spots deeper in the wilderness. 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. And very few people willing to do the hard work it takes to get to the best parts. West Clear Creek Trail #17. 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. Even though we visited in early spring, the weather was already starting to warm up quite a bit. Day 1 The drive from the valley started at 5am on Saturday morning and… Drive west out Clear Creek Road in southern Redding and head for the Clear Creek overlook. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Cool water species such as smallmouth bass and green... Camp, Hike, Swim swim Swimming Hole hike Hiking Trail camp Campsite 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 Trail #17. Bring duct tape! 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 … 3. Trail. Rounded and smooth sandstone formations surround the waters and shady trees jut out of the rocks. In those days, we never encountered any other folk–just lots of trout and deer–and all that magnificent scenery. This trail eventually forks into two directing you to a serene sand and rock small beach on the creek bend. That was the only way we knew how to get there. Bell Trail. It is around a mile or so heading down stream to get to this beautiful swimming hole. Prepare for at least one hour of off-road driving in a high clearance vehicle. Add Photo (s) Drop Photo (s) This page is a stub. This swimming hole is fed by a few waterfalls, so expect some clear and gorgeous water. Trail. The swimming hole is about ¾ mile up the creek and you can’t miss it. PHOTO . You’ll get to see a nice section of the upper canyon, and a good swim. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Splash, doggie-paddle, or float all day. It takes some route finding along the creek and negotiating some slippery rocks once in the creek but the payoff seems worth it. Take FR 81 for about 4 miles to FR 81E. 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. Metzler Park (Clackamas County Parks) Contributors . 3. The water is always pretty cold so go in early Summer through early Fall when the temps are above 85 degrees.There are more areas to explore further down stream if you are into some bush whack and more slippery rocks. Green River Gorge Swimming Hole (H) Central Cascades - Stevens Pass. Contribute. 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 most popular swimming hole is next to the Elizabeth Furnace campground, but it can be quite busy on weekends. and again, in Winslow) this creek offers clearer water, bigger pools, chub fishing, and to me what seems like more resilient trout overall. Photo: Donny Barnec. Learn about swimming holes such as West Clear Creek Trail No. A beautiful waterfall area near Helen is Dukes Creek Falls, and this is also a great swimming hole. For me this is what West Clear Creek is all about. Enjoy a picnic on the sandy beach and look up towards the top of the cliffs. Near Trails. Required fields are marked *. Be careful what you put in your side pockets during dry sections. 15 miles west of Camp Verde on West Clear Creek, you’ll find the classic swimming hole called Bull Pen. Lake Wenatchee State Park (KF, RR) Hidden Lake (H) Ida Creek Campground (CJ) Lake Serene (H) Eagle Falls Swimming Hole (CJ) Skykomish River, Big Eddy Park (RR) Rock Island Campground [dfp_slot_responsive:op_incontent2] Central Cascades - Snoqualmie Pass If you’re ambitious enough, climb further up and you’ll find yet another swimming hole. bobcat (creator) Brian writes about science, conservation, and ways that people interact with nature for various publications, as well as his blog, briangruters.com. At its headwaters are Willow Creek and Clover Creek, whose waters converge and then flow through WCC’s serpentine maze of basalt and sandstone. So beautiful! Do keep in mind that the water’s temperature here is quite cold, even in the summer months. 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. Since your shoes will be wet every night, bring warm socks, crocs, or something else light and dry to put on your feet. West Clear Creek near Hanging Gardens is so remote and difficult to reach that I only saw three people during the whole trip. Pack the sleeping roll for an overnighter at Beaver Creek Campground. CLEAR CREEK CAMPGROUND [CLEA]: Nice Forest Service campground with a swimming hole in West Clear Creek. Take RT 86 west, then: TEA CREEK [TEAC]: Hike from Tea Creek Campground in Monongahela N.F. Balancing your pack on the inner tube is tricky, especially when the water is moving quickly. Trail. To float your pack there are two ready options: 1)  Bring an inner tube, inflate it, and set your pack across. West Clear Creek Swimming Hole is a swimming hole on West Clear Creek in Mogollon Rim, Coconino National Forest, AZ. Less crowded is the Blue Hole. 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. Driving up the I-17 corridor, however, you will see the transition from cactus to pine over a hundred miles. The falls are actually a pleasant 40 … And lastly, the sections of river that are just slightly too shallow to float a pack through are numerous, like stones in the stream. The FallGal and myself brought our 13 year old daughter along to fill her shoes. Walk the trails to discover this canyon that is rugged yet accessible and a great swimming opportunity. From either access point, you’ll walk downstream for about three miles, to the next trail out of the canyon. I discovered the hard way by hiking this one alone. 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. 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. He is an aspiring surfer, member of the Southern California Mountaineers Association, and likes to explore mountains and canyons. This is a good place to set up a shuttle, if you’re interested in day hiking. There’s an out-and-back trail that’s two miles long that will take you to the falls, and the best place to take a dip is about halfway through that hike. Near Trails. Bob Crouch, Your email address will not be published. In every corner of the state, there's a beautiful swimming hole to cool down with a relaxing dip in the crystal-clear water. West Clear Creek Trail, Camp Verde. Clear Creek Campground is also an option. Leslie. Trail. West Clear Creek Trail is a 8.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. 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. West Clear Creek is the longest drainage of the rim, winding for 30 miles and up to 2,000 feet below the rim. Learn about swimming holes such as Bullpen Day Use Area, Blodgett Basin Trail No. The back road from Phoenix to Flagstaff, via state highway 87 through Payson, combines the two experiences. 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. 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. 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. You will know that you’re exiting the central portion of West Clear Creek when you come to Big Spring. 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. 2. 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). WOW Brian! If you want to avoid some of the crowds at the Bull Pen Trailhead of West Clear Creek this may be your answer. The disadvantages are numerous: inner tubes pop or deflate slowly when poked with sharp plants, of which you’ll encounter many in WCC. Get ready to pick up and put down your pack and inner tube assembly ad nauseum. Image of swimming, rocks, river - 2867133 From here you have options to swim, river hike, and fish, although the best swimming holes are deeper into the canyon. Turn east and drive about 3 miles to the Bullpen Ranch trailhead. And the solitude in these areas is magnificent. I’m so glad to read some of the history of the cable down there on this site. This place can get packed, so get an early start and remember to practice the "pack it in, pack it out" philosophy when visiting. There is also a nice (primitive, backpacking) camping area right by the swimming hole where there may also be a lean-to for camping without a tent. If non-technical canyoneering and low-impact camping is your thing, you’ll be hard pressed to find a nicer place to pass a warm summer weekend. 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. This trail starts at the end of Bullpen Rd and your adventure begins in beautiful thickets of trees and plants. Getting to West Clear Creek. 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. Strawberry Park Hot Springs Strawberry Park Hot Springs. But this treasure isn’t without tribulations. The road to Cash Tank Trailhead is no joke. The trees didnt have leaves yet and the water was still pretty chilly, but that didnt stop us from getting into the summer spirit. Click here for more information. 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. It is one of my favorite spots. Blue Hole. The route runs through a suspension bridge over Clear Creek and then on the right along the creek. 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. Go toward the campground and follow signs to the Day Use Area. Plunge into the cool water for an invigorating swim at this natural waterhole near Alice Springs. 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. This is a popular summer swimming hole at a bend in Clear Creek. West Clear Creek I just took a three day two night trip into Clear Creek Wilderness in Arizona, with my friend Cliff. Most of the hikers in the canyon enter at Bull Pen State Park in the southern end of the canyon. Blue Hole. Take I-17 to Highway 260 at Camp Verde (in between Phoenix and Flagstaff). This moderately easy to reach swimming hole is located about 15 miles east of Camp Verde along West Clear Creek. Blodgett Basin Trail #31. You just need to follow "Swimming Hole" signs. 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. If you’re ambitious enough, climb further up and you’ll find yet another swimming hole. Tumbling from the forested heights of the Mogollon Rim, West Clear Creek slices a deep, narrow gash through sandstone cliffs. 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. This swimming hole is fed by a few waterfalls, so expect some clear … This is the heart of West Clear Creek Wilderness Area. Some canyoneering is technical, requiring advanced skills in anchor building, rappelling, navigation, etc. Blodgett Basin Trail #31. Note from Cory:  Remember, when packing a map, make sure you bring a dry bag to put it in. It also has the added benefit of being waterproof, just in case it ends up in the drink. The swimming hole can be accessed by a 0.1-mile easy trail from the parking area. 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. Natural Atlas is powered by contributors like you. about 3 miles (each way) to swimming hole in Tea Creek . That has changed -- the state bought the land and now you walk right across it. Water temperature is warmer than many other spots, a shallow beach is … Bell Trail follows Wet Beaver Creek to one of the most sought-after swimming holes in the region: The Crack. of swimming in a natural pool is not lost in Upstate New York. Thanks for the valuable information. Rewarding you with its twisting path downstream to serenity, solitude and canyoneering fun. 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. 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. 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. Here are details on how to get there. (34°33’22.3″N 111°28’35.5″W) Watch for a cairn on the south side of the river just before the river makes a hard bend to the right/north (a note of caution: there’s no signage and rock cairns are impermanent structures, so it’s best to bring a map at least, and possibly a GPS with pre-set waypoints so you don’t miss this trail). These spots mark the ends of a steep canyon that is known for waterfalls and slides. 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 about A pleasant swimming hole in the West Clear Creek Wilderness in central Arizona. Some of the highlights of this hike are: beautiful scenery, amazing swimming holes, a super fun rope swing, and cliff jumping. Park (pay fee) and follow a short trail down to the creek (you will have to cross an … You can only imagine the noise and scattered mess of gear at the bottom upon our arrival. 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. Loved your article – glad to see you writing! Clear Creek State Park: Swimming - See 85 traveler reviews, 76 candid photos, and great deals for Sigel, PA, at Tripadvisor. Hard to imagine a better swimming hole than Bull Pen, a deep pool along West Clear Creek. Take Route 55 west from Front Royal for five miles and then turn south onto Fort Valley Road. Are the hanging Gardens a part of the hike to Maiden Falls? Again, dogs not advised. 0 Star This. 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. Coconino sandstone walls encase the lush canyon. We are missing Doc since she is still in Colorado "learning" stuff. It gets cold when the sun goes down. 4. Early on, a swimming hole … While not a true swimming hole, Slide Rock is a popular location for people to cool off in the summer. Credit Pierce Ingram. This swimming hole is at its best after a good wet season. To travel into this part of the canyon it is pretty much an overnight affair. Credit: Strawberry Park Hot Springs Link Copied to Clipboard. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Located in the Sumter National Forest, this swimming hole’s name is a portmanteau of the Chauga River and Ramsey Creek. We plan to do just that some day. If you’ve been through hiking, that trail will come out of nowhere and be a very welcome sight. 0 Star This. 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. 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! The swimming hole is about ¾ mile up the creek and you can’t miss it. Shake the summer heat at some of the best swimming holes found in and around Austin. PHOTO . The scenery is stunning but the journey is challenging. 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. The going is difficult because there is no trail. Find the best places to swim near West Clear Creek Trail No. West Clear Creek was always the most magical place in Arizona for this native son. You’ll come up to a natural waterslide that plunges into the swimming hole area. Nice swimming spots that are accessible exist along the first mile of the Red Creek Trail from the Laneville Trailhead. Drive 45 minutes south of Austin to reach the glorious Blue Hole, located just outside of Wimberley. 17, Bullpen Day Use Area, Blodgett Basin Trail No. Thanks for sharing!! First Post - West Clear Creek - Tramway Trail This beautiful canyon offers natural springs, secret side canyons, and ample pools for fishing and swimming. In the late forties, getting there was tough, generally having to move logs to get down the road to the tramway terminus from the north. A \"trail\" appears off and on. Forget about Tevas, or even Chacos; your toes will fall off if you try to hike in anything less than shoes. The clear cold water invites only the hardiest canyoneers. 8. 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. You just need to follow "Swimming Hole" signs. First Post - West Clear Creek - Tramway Trail This beautiful canyon offers natural springs, secret side canyons, and ample pools for fishing and swimming. As Glendale High School kids we only knew of the route by word of mouth. The route runs through a suspension bridge over Clear Creek and then on the right along the creek. 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). Devil’s Punchbowl is a local favorite swimming spot and for good reason. West Clear Creek offers water holes for swimming, excellent fishing, and back country camping. 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. Again, dogs not advised. About two miles downriver from Tramway, on the south side, is an unnamed trail leading down from forest road 142E. 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. Teague O’Mara/Flickr. Paper doesn’t run out of batteries.). A pleasant swimming hole in the West Clear Creek Wilderness in central Arizona. The FallGal and myself brought our 13 year old daughter along to fill her shoes. 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. ...."From the trailhead, West Clear Creek Trail #17 follows a very wide maintained path. Terry and I have been to this swimming hole 4 times now and have had it all to ourselves every time.There is no formal trail. West Fork Oak Creek Trail: Easy hike with a nice swimming hole - See 1,237 traveler reviews, 688 candid photos, and great deals for Sedona, AZ, at Tripadvisor. The real gem is Wet Beaver Creek, and, specifically, “The Crack” swimming hole — a mini-oasis amongst the rocky terrain. Everywhere else all but guarantees solitude. 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. We go when there has been no rain for a few days and no chance of rain anywhere from where this creek starts on the Mogollon Rim down to where it meets the Verde River in the town of Camp Verde.Enjoy and please leave no trace. Fun for kids, teens, adults. Being a significant Aboriginal site, the area has a very spiritual feel. 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