Heat Hiking at West Clear Creek

Arizona has some amazing hiking and backpacking spots. We recently went on a great backpacking trip to West Clear Creek near Camp Verde, Arizona. The hike was beautiful, the trail tough, the heat brutal. I’m an Arizona native and am used to playing tennis in August on 120 degree courts, but this was intense.

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We left Saturday morning, gear packed and ready to go. If you are interested in specifics on how to get to the trailhead follow the link to this great blog post on Todd’s Hiking Guide Here. It’s a pretty rough road once you get off the main road back in to the trailhead so we ended up walking the last mile.

By that point it was about 10AM and I was already feeling the heat (not a good sign). We found the trailhead and started our descent. The way down wasn’t so bad because it was all down, down, down. It was hot but we had these handy umbrellas that our friend Zeke brings each time we do hikes in the summer. They make a huge difference, I’d recommend them to anyone!

 

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The trail had washed out in a few parts as we headed down which led to some scary sections of scaling and sliding, but we made it in a bout three hours to the creek. At this point we were all pretty beat and stopped to have lunch and explore in the water. It’s amazing how revitalizing cold water feels!

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We walked upstream the creek for about twenty minutes and found a great spot to set up camp for the night. Justin and I shared a tent, Zeke and Nay had hammocks. Once we were set up and full, the fun began! We all jumped in the water and started swimming, sun bathing and exploring.

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Turns out Justin has a hidden talent I didn’t know about, catching crawfish. He’s amazing! He caught tons and after a while we starting collecting them. They are surprisingly fast little creatures.

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That night we boiled all the crawfish and had a mini feast before we cooked our planned dinner. We were all pretty beat and after a glass of wine I was ready for bed.

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The next morning we woke up early to get a head start on the trail before the sun baked us alive. This part was hard! We went straight up the entire way to get out of the canyon and even by 9AM it was 90 degrees out. I was the least in shape of the group but they were good hiking companions and stopped whenever I needed it in shady spots. Luckily a friend had recommended bringing gummy bears along for moments just like these and we snacked and drank our tang, one of Zeke’s hiking staples!

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After about four hours we made it back to the car. We were hot, bug bitten, sore but happy. It was a great trip with some truly beautiful scenary. We checked the log book and no one else had been down there in a week, it was just us in nature. Such a great feeling to know you truly have some space.

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No hike in the area would be complete without a post hike trip to Denny’s (as has become our ritual) so we headed dirt and all into town for burgers and milkshakes. Thanks Zeke and Nay for bringing Justin and me along!

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