Arizona Hiking Gallery
West Clear Creek Trail Hike
West Clear Creek Wilderness, AZ
November 5, 2005
Gallery contains 58 photos
Gallery last updated: 11/20/2005
Starting out on the West Clear Creek Trail (#17) near the Bull Pen Trail Head.
The old Bull Pen Ranch stone house.
A view from the stone house toward West Clear Creek hidden in the trees. The trail heads east into the canyon, to the left in this photo, generally following the creek, but much of the trail is up on the hillside above the creek.
The trail passes a large Utah Juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) just before dropping down to the creek.
Water from a small pool on West Clear Creek flows between two sandstone boulders.
Downstream view of West Clear Creek.
The early part of the trail is often through red sandstone.
The trail following the base of sandstone cliffs.
A late blooming Crimson Monkey Flower (Mimulus cardinalis) grows near a seep in the canyon wall.
Looking up at the red cliffs along the north side of the canyon.
The cliffs eventually come right down to the creek. Here the trail crosses to the south side of the creek, the first of three creek crossings.
Yellow fall color against the red cliffs.
I missed the "official" second crossing of the creek, and here I'm forced to cross back to the north side. I cross to the mud bank seen at the left in this photo and easily find the trail just up the bank on the otherside.
Looking down river at the second creek crossing.
Views of the cliffs on the north side of the canyon.
Trail heading over a rocky rise.
Arizona Sycamore (Platanus wrightii) backlit by the morning sun.
I have crossed the creek for a third time to the south side of the canyon. Here the trail continues into the canyon on hillside above the creek.
View of the north side of the canyon.
A view looking east up into the canyon.
Juniper and prickly pear cactus along the trail.
West Clear Creek Trail meandering on the hillside.
Splash of fall color appear in the canyon.
Parry's Agave () blooms going to seed.
A view looking west back down the canyon.
Yellow sycamore against the red standstone wall.
Sandstone walls on the north side of the canyon.
West Clear Creek 5 miles into the canyon at my lunch and turnaround spot.
Looking upstream from the turnaound spot.
Red cliffs on the north side of the canyon.
A cluster of red juniper berries.
A view looking west down the canyon.
An easterly view looking up the canyon.
I'm back at the third crossing of West Clear Creek, crossing back to the north side. The crossings are marked by a tall pile of rocks in a wire cage.
The trail on the north side near the third crossing travels through a dense riparian area and the trail is faint on the rocky canyon bottom.
On the return hike I made a note to look for the "W" tree to locate the trail just before it climbs out of the creek bed.
Closeup of Parry's Agave.
The late afternoon sun casts long shadows on the cliffs in this view of the south canyon walls.
Returning I easily find the "official" second creek crossing. The trail crosses to the south side of the creek, for a bit, to the left in this photo looking down stream.
Prickly pear cactus hang on red sandstone cliffs.
West Clear Creek Trail skirts by a log amid a tangle of vines.
Maidenhair fern (Asplenium trichomanes) growing at a seep in the cliff walls along with Crimson Monkey Flower.
A pool in West Clear Creek in the late afternoon light.
Utah Juniper silhouetted against the late afternoon sky.
I was surprised to find a tram or trolley apparently used to haul things from and to or across the creek.
A closeup of the tram hardware. It certainly doesn't look very old.
Late afternoon sunlight setting the trees aglow in splendid fall color.
Fremont Cottonwood (Populus fremontii).
Closeup of the deeply furrowed trunk of the Fremont Cottonwood.
All images Copyright ©2005 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.