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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

CLOVER CREEK

CLOVER CREEK West Clear Creek Wilderness A tributary of West Clear Creek, Clover Creek trickles through a pristine, green canyon on the Mogollon Rim. The route is a primitive path weaving back-and-forth across the shallow stream as it drifts through berry-laden brambles, willows and alders. When warmed by the sun (or trampled by the resident cattle) meadows of clover exhale an earthy-sweet perfume into the air, soothing the senses and attracting swarms of honeybees. To add physical challenge to this otherwise effortless hike, a campfire-stained cave tucked high into the canyon wall makes a short but steep side trip. This seldom-visited area was recently selected for “wilderness rehabilitation”, which means several old roads were blocked off to allow the riparian vegetation to recover. So, when visiting this verdant canyon, be sure to tread lightly, leave what you find and yield the right of way to native wildlife and resurgent vegetation. HIGHLIGHTS: seldom-visited, bucolic canyon LENGTH: 5 miles roundtrip ELEVATION: 6,700 – 6,800 feet BEST SEASONS: April - October DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX: 150 miles roundtrip GETTING THERE:
From the junctions of SR260/87 in Payson, go north on SR87 to milepost 285 where you'll see a small parking lot and a series of forest service signs in a meadow---do not park here. Instead, turn left onto Forest Road 142, set your odometer and drive 0.5 miles to an unmarked road on the right—this is easy to miss---look for a sign that reads “no trailers, dead end”, do not take Forest Road 611---stay right. Continue on the unmarked road for 0.6 miles to the trailhead marked by a brown metal cattle gate and a sign that reads “closed to all vehicles”. Go through (or around/under) the gate and follow the informal footpaths along the water. When you get to the ruins of an old bridge/dam, veer left and follow the creek as far as you like.
2016 UPDATE: A PERMIT IS NOT REQUIRED From the FS website: Depending on the nature of the activity planned on the National Forest, a special use permit may be required. Usually groups of 12 or less, that are just hiking or camping in the wilderness, are not required to apply for a permit. The wilderness environment allows the visitor to experience an area primitive in nature, where man's presence is mostly unnoticed. In most wilderness ecosystems, larger groups may have a detrimental impact on the environment, and can affect the wilderness experience of other forest visitors. Please keep your group small to avoid this type of impact, and help us protect the integrity of these special areas. From teh FS website: Depending on the nature of the activity planned on the National Forest, a special use permit may be required. Usually groups of 12 or less, that are just hiking or camping in the wilderness, are not required to apply for a permit. The wilderness environment allows the visitor to experience an area primitive in nature, where man's presence is mostly unnoticed. In most wilderness ecosystems, larger groups may have a detrimental impact on the environment, and can affect the wilderness experience of other forest visitors. Please keep your group small to avoid this type of impact, and help us protect the integrity of these special areas.
Coconino National Forest, West Clear Creek Wilderness:


8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your site is a fantastic resource! We are going to try out this Clover Creek hike tomorrow and I was looking at the directions you've listed from Phoenix. From looking at my map, it appears that I need to turn RIGHT (east) onto AZ260, not left. Could you confirm for me please? Thank you!

Mare said...

you do indeed turn right on AZ260---thanks for pointing this out, I've updated the directions. You're gonna LOVE Clover Creek! have a safe hike. Mare

Anonymous said...

Wish we'd used this site today - we used another one which had terrible directions and we never even found the creek! Thanks -- we'll use your directions next time.

Bonny Smith said...

What would you rate this hike on a scale of 1 to 5? I'm thinking of taking someone on it in a couple of weeks.

Mare said...

Bonnie, I'd rate this hike a solid 8+---very pretty place.

Karyn said...

Hi. Do you know if these directions are still accurate? I would love to go there this weekend, but I am very scared of trusting these old directions. It's a long way to drive to just end up lost. Thank you!

Mare said...

a hiking group used these directions to get there a few weeks ago and all was fine

Anonymous said...

After May 1, 2016, during the summer season you need a permit.