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
West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 1
Starting out on the West Clear Creek Trail (#17) near the Bull Pen Trail Head.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 2
The old Bull Pen Ranch stone house.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 3
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.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 4
The trail passes a large Utah Juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) just before dropping down to the creek.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 5
Water from a small pool on West Clear Creek flows between two sandstone boulders.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 6
Downstream view of West Clear Creek.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 7
The early part of the trail is often through red sandstone.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 8
West Clear Creek.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 9
The trail following the base of sandstone cliffs.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 10
A late blooming Crimson Monkey Flower (Mimulus cardinalis) grows near a seep in the canyon wall.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 11
Looking up at the red cliffs along the north side of the canyon.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 12
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.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 13
Yellow fall color against the red cliffs.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 14
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.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 15
Looking down river at the second creek crossing.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 16
Views of the cliffs on the north side of the canyon.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 17


West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 18
Trail heading over a rocky rise.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 19
Arizona Sycamore (Platanus wrightii) backlit by the morning sun.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 20
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.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 21
View of the north side of the canyon.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 22
A view looking east up into the canyon.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 23
Juniper and prickly pear cactus along the trail.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 24
West Clear Creek Trail meandering on the hillside.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 25
Splash of fall color appear in the canyon.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 26


West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 27
Closeup of Utah Juniper.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 28


West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 29


West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 30
Parry's Agave () blooms going to seed.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 31
A view looking west back down the canyon.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 32
Yellow sycamore against the red standstone wall.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 33
Sandstone walls on the north side of the canyon.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 34
West Clear Creek 5 miles into the canyon at my lunch and turnaround spot.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 35
Looking upstream from the turnaound spot.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 36
Red cliffs on the north side of the canyon.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 37


West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 38
A cluster of red juniper berries.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 39
A view looking west down the canyon.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 40
An easterly view looking up the canyon.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 41
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.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 42
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.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 43
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.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 44
Closeup of Parry's Agave.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 45
The late afternoon sun casts long shadows on the cliffs in this view of the south canyon walls.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 46
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.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 47
Prickly pear cactus hang on red sandstone cliffs.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 48
West Clear Creek Trail skirts by a log amid a tangle of vines.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 49
Maidenhair fern (Asplenium trichomanes) growing at a seep in the cliff walls along with Crimson Monkey Flower.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 50
Crimson Monkey Flower.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 51
A pool in West Clear Creek in the late afternoon light.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 52
Utah Juniper silhouetted against the late afternoon sky.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 53
I was surprised to find a tram or trolley apparently used to haul things from and to or across the creek.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 54
A closeup of the tram hardware. It certainly doesn't look very old.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 55
Late afternoon sunlight setting the trees aglow in splendid fall color.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 56
Fremont Cottonwood (Populus fremontii).

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 57
Fremont Cottonwood.

West Clear Creek Trail Hike: Image 58
Closeup of the deeply furrowed trunk of the Fremont Cottonwood.

All images Copyright ©2005 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.