West Clear Creek Canyon

MRT 2021 Day 7, April 11, Sunday
• Start S2 mile 49.1
• End S2 mile 73.1
• Miles walked: 24

The morning resumes on rocky Forest Service roads through grass and thin juniper forest. From the map, we are a few miles north of the Mogollon Rim, running in a jagged east-west direction. That suggests we are about to descend into another deep canyon, and are going far enough towards the start of the canyon to make that practical.

The descent down Tramway Trail into West Clear Creek Canyon is quite steep and includes a lot of high steps on sandstone boulders. I suspect the trail would be a challenge for the general public, but the canyon is known as a popular swimming spot in summer months.

At the bottom is a creek that connects large pools that sometimes extends to both sandstone canyon walls. Dozens of wet-foot crossings are a series of puzzles to be solved: do I find a route through a pool that is not too deep, or scramble on top of boulders, or push through reeds and brambles on the other side and cross at the creek?

The climb out of the canyon is a vertical scramble on boulders, not so carefully constructed as the way down. After walking along a ridge and going down a hillside burn area, camp is in a little narrow canyon.

Town tomorrow.

Finished audiobook The Prince and Betty, by P.G. Wodehouse.

Author: Jim, Sagebrush

Jim (trail-name Sagebrush) codes audio software for Windows, Linux, Android, and embedded systems. When not working at sagebrush.com, he enjoys backpacking, which this blog is about.

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