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Tag: Coconino National Forest

Tramway Maxwell Loop

Marilyn, Bob, and I did a six mile loop in the West Clear Creek Canyon area.

Point Trail / West Clear Creek

Marilyn, Marie, Bob, and I hiked the Point Trail to West Clear Creek on Sunday. When we got down to the creek, we changed into neoprene socks and started hiking up canyon.  We paused at the entrance to Sundance Canyon and then Marie, Bob, and I went across the neck high water into this side canyon. A few strokes of swimming were needed to get across.

The bottom of Sundance Canyon was crowded. One group had camped there the night before. They had gotten some rain, but stayed perfectly dry due to the overhang of the canyon walls.  It’s my understanding that the final 180 foot rappel (when doing the canyon from the top) is down this overhung section.

We then hiked down canyon, past the way back up to take a look at Bear Canyon. We found it, but it was very vegetated – I didn’t feel like bushwhacking through it.

It started to rain on the way back up. Also, we saw what we think is poison ivy. Marie inadvertently touched one of the plants – she used several wipes to scrub the affected area – so far, no rash or itching! It was weird; despite looking for poison ivy on the way down, I didn’t see any. But, on the way back up (using the same route), I saw at least half a dozen plants.

We got into the truck only moments before it started raining really hard.

A downed tree across the trail. It was easy to duck under it though. This trail was quite steep; those of us without teenage knees found the descent to be somewhat painful. I found going back up to be quite a lot easier.

Marie, hiking through the foliage. It had rained the night before – we got wet when we went through the foliage.

It took us quite a while to figure out how to get through here.  The pool at the right is quite deep, probably above head level. We ended up finding a way to get through by going left.

Bob and Marilyn backtracked to get to shallower water.

This is Sundance Canyon:

Looking out of Sundance Canyon:

Kevin, Marie, and Bob. (One of the guys who camped there overnight took this photo of us. Marilyn decided that she didn’t want to cross the deep water leading into Sundance Canyon.)

Small or young fish (minnows?):

Marie, hiking toward Bear Canyon:

Flowers along a weeping wall on the way back from Bear:

I think this is poison ivy:

Clover Creek Canyon

Bob and I did an out and back hike in Clover Creek Canyon.  Although it was hot in the Phoenix metro area, the temperature was 67 degrees (Fahrenheit) when we started at 7:30am and around 85 degrees when we finished up just before 3:00pm. We inadvertently crossed that bridge in the first photo when we started, which led us to a fenced in pasture with cows. We fixed our mistake, this time following the creek, entered the wilderness area and encountered even more cows. We walked slowly through them to make sure that we didn’t spook them.  We saw at least two bulls along the way, but they left us alone.

Early in the hike, we tried to keep our feet dry, but after about 2.5 miles, it became clear that we’d have to wade through water.  I switched to using my water shoes at that point; I should have used them for the entire hike.

The canyons became steeper and narrower as we went.  There were sections where we waded through pools that were knee deep and other sections where we pushed our way through vegetation; my arms and legs were amply scratched when we were done. We saw some three leafed plants that might or might not have been poison ivy. We avoided it and, thankfully, have not developed a rash. There were also lots of logs and debris washed up against the logs which blocked our path; we had to make our way over or under that stuff. In some places, it created a sort of false floor that we had to negotiate. These sections were short, but slowed us down a lot.

We were hoping to get to the intersection with Tom’s Creek Canyon. It wasn’t that far off, but making our way through the brush and over and under logs was slow going. We turned back after hiking for four hours.

We saw the same cows on the way back as we did when we were going in, inadvertently herding them back up the canyon. We were able to pass some of them, but a bunch of them accumulated at the area around the gate at which we had entered the Wilderness Area earlier in the day. We slowly made our way to one side of them to encourage to head back down canyon.

There was a lot more water there than my pictures show. For some reason, I didn’t take many photos with water in them.  The water was chilly, but refreshing.

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