• Springtime water play
    Posted by at March 28th
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    BELL TRAIL
    Wet Beaver 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 to 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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    Post Author: Arizona Hiking


    Bio: Serial blogger, manic hiker and “mom” to a dozen adopted dogs, Mare Czinar has been exploring Arizona trails for more than 20 years. After being led astray (or just plain confused) by outdated hiking books and online resources (hence the tagline: We got lost, so you don’t have to), Czinar sought to create a fully vetted, frequently updated online hike travelogue with current driving and hiking directions to spare fellow hikers the mental and physical wear-and-tear of aimless wandering. In addition, blog entries are amended when road closures or wildfires restrict trail access. When not working, blogging, writing about the great outdoors or picking up dog poo, Czinar attempts to “stay found” while checking out new trails.


    Website: http://arizonahiking.blogspot.com/