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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

BELL TRAIL


BELL TRAIL
Wet Beaver Creek Wilderness
Wet Beaver Creek
The weather is heating up and soon we'll be heading to higher elevations in search of cool summer trekking. But right now, with temperatures hovering between warm and torrid, a visit to the high desert, swimming holes of Wet Beaver Creek is just the ticket for a refreshing day trip.   Few things are more invigorating on a sweltering day than a dip in a canyon stream. The Bell Trail #13 leads to one of the most beloved of all Arizona swimming holes—“the crack”. Tucked into a slender slot canyon where the chilly, spring-fed waters of Wet Beaver Creek flow year-round, this natural water park attracts droves of visitors.
The hike in is completely exposed to the sun, but never strays far from the creek with its lush riparian vegetation, numerous shallow pools and slick-rock water chutes. At the 3.25-mile point, the trail comes to a junction near Bell Crossing. Although the official route veers right, crosses the creek and climbs 1,200 feet to the top of the Mogollon Rim, those in search of plunge must hang a left instead and head for the red cliffs that form “the 
Rapids at Bell Crossing
crack”.

LENGTH: 6.5 miles roundtrip
RATING: moderate
ELEVATION: 3,880 – 3,980 feet
FACILITIES: restroom, nearby camping
DRIVING DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX: 115 miles
GETTING THERE:
From Phoenix, travel north on I-17 to exit 298. Go left (east) onto Beaver Creek Road (Forest Road 618) and continue 2.1 miles to the trailhead on
The Crack
the left.
INFORMATION: Red Rock Ranger District, Coconino National Forest, 928-203-7500, 

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