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Sunday, December 21, 2008


KINDER CROSSING Coconino National Forest
TINDER FIRE 2018: This trail was impacted by the April 2018 Tinder Fire and is within the closure area. Check with the forest service for updates.

When dogs dream about hiking, images of Kinder Crossing dance in their heads. Tucked into a picturesque canyon with a perennial stream, this trail packs every imaginable doggie delight into a single water-themed hike. Scampering rock squirrels, taunting blue jays, jumping fish and leaping frogs give chase, inciting primitive stirrings in even the most sophisticated of city dogs. Sandy beaches along East Clear Creek beckon dig-happy hounds and a plethora of swimming holes stoke the canine “inner wild” into overdrive. But, from a dog’s point of view, the best part about this trail is that there are always other four-legged friends around to join in a serious romp. The creek is accessed via a steep, three-quarter-mile path that descends 500 feet along the crumbling, fossil-laden limestone walls of the canyon. As the trail nears the creek, the pine canopy melts into a lush green corridor of moisture-hungry willows, alders, brambles, wild geraniums and daisies. Once at the creek, recreational opportunities abound. Although the official trail (#19) crosses the water and continues up the opposite wall of the canyon, most hikers prefer to stay in the gorge and scout along the banks of the creek. While hikers may be overwhelmed by the exploratory options in the canyon, dogs, in their infinite wisdom, see the dilemma as a no-brainer and simply belly-flop into the nearest swimming hole. Highlights: Contorted sandstone cliffs, swimming holes and sandy beaches. LENGTH: 1.2 miles round-trip (on trail) RATING: difficult  ELEVATION: 7,000’ – 6,500’ Driving distance from Phoenix: 165 miles one-way GETTING THERE: From Payson, go north on State Route 87 to Forest Road 95, which is located roughly 10 miles north of Clints Well between mileposts 299 and 300. Turn right onto FR 95 and continue 4.5 mile to the turn off on the left for Forest Road 95T and follow the signs for just over a half-mile to the trailhead. A high clearance vehicle is required on FR 95T. Information:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This hike is cool but not "easy" by any stretch of the imagination. A 500 foot descent in about a half a mile is not easy, it is brutal.