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    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    241 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    14.2 km
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    West Clear Creek Trail


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    Table of contents

    The West Clear Creek Trail is an 14.0 kmhike near Camp Verde, Arizona. This is a popular trail with both hikers and backpackers thanks to its campsites and backcountry camping space. It’s a great way to appreciate Arizona’s unique scenery, with a few oddities along the way… Like the old farmhouse with a cactus growing on its roof.

    This route is heavily trafficked but, thanks to its hour or so of separation from Sedona, it’s not nearly as busy as some of the top trails in the area. We recommend bringing lots of water since this hike is out in the sun for most of the way. We also recommend packing wading shoes to help with the multiple creek crossings.

    Route Description for West Clear Creek Trail

    West Clear Creek Trail takes you through the desert near Camp Verde, offering either an enjoyable moderate day trip or the opportunity to take a backpacking trip with dispersed and backcountry camping available on the trail. This route is far enough from Sedona to avoid some of the traffic, but it does still see lots of visitors.

    This hike shows off the unique desert landscape of Arizona along with the unexpectedly lush creekside that contrasts against red rock and scrub brush. It’s a look into how the desert changes near a water source, offering fascinating plant and animal sightings.

    The creek is great to swim in at certain points, so plan for a refreshing dip if you’re here in the hot weather. You’ll need to plan to cross a few creeks, so wading shoes are definitely recommended.

    The trailhead is easy to find at the end of the road. Go through the gate and set out on the first mile, which remains fairly flat and is completely exposed to the sun (sunscreen, a wide hat, and plenty of water are necessary if it’s hot out).

    Look to your left for an old farmhouse with a prickly pear cactus growing out of the top of it, a unique sight that’s somehow fitting for the Arizona desert.

    Continue to the first creek. Make your way through, taking care on the slippery rocks. You’ll cross 4 creeks and you shouldn’t expect to be able to keep your feet dry through all of them. Don the sandals.
    Between each creek, the lush foliage beside the river gives way to stark red rocks and canyons in between. After the fourth crossing, our route ends. You can go further through a difficult but rewarding section if you’ve still got gas in the tank.

    If you want to finish the trail, you’ll hike away from the creek and make a steep climb up to the top of the rim in front of you. It’s a big push, but it’s worth the view!

    Where the trail levels out, you’ll see a sign marking the end of the route. From here, it’s back the same way you came in.

    Note: If the gate at the trailhead is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate could prevent them from getting to the water.

    Trail Highlights

    West Clear Creek

    West Clear Creek, formerly known as Clear Creek, flows through the West Clear Creek Wilderness. It was renamed to avoid confusion with a creek that flows into the Little Colorado River. This creek provides an important source of water to the otherwise dry desert landscape, creating a lush oasis amidst the red rocks that surround it. The creek is used for hiking, swimming, and camping.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Where does West Clear Creek start?

    The creek flows from its headwaters at Willow Creek and Clover Creek to Bull Pen Ranch.

    Where is West Clear Creek in Arizona?

    The creek is in Yavapai and Coconino counties near Camp Verde.

    Can you park overnight at West Clear Creek trailhead?

    Yes, you can park at the trailhead overnight.

    Insider Hints for West Clear Creek Trail

    • Bring plenty of water for this hike. It’s unshaded for a large portion of the trail and it ends with a tiring climb.
    • Watch for snakes on this route- they’re around!
    • The road to this trailhead is passable for low clearance vehicles, but you’ll need to be quite careful.

    Getting to the West Clear Creek Trail Trailhead

    The trailhead for West Clear Creek Trail is at the eastern terminus of Bull Pen Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground:

      Bull Pen Dispersed Campground

    • When to do:


    • Pets allowed:

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly:


    • Route Signage:


    • Crowd Levels:


    • Route Type:

      Out and back

    West Clear Creek Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather


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