Wet Beaver Wilderness
The Wet Beaver Wilderness, established in 1984, encompasses much of the Wet Beaver Creek and surrounding canyons. A perennially flowing stream in a desert environment, Wet Beaver Creek offers a unique and precious habitat for wildlife and plants. Closer to the creek, cottonwoods and sycamores trees are a dominate plant. As you traverse farther up the canyon walls, those trees give way to junipers, prickly pear cacti, mesquite, and catclaw before the canyon opens up to grassy plateaus with scenic views.
Travelers going into the depths of the canyon will see a number of coldwater pools stretch between canyon walls of sandstone, shale, and, in some sections, basalt. Whether you ascend the plateaus, navigate the canyon floors, or enjoy a mild hike to a favorite swimming spot or viewpoint, the Wet Beaver Wilderness has plentiful opportunities for solitude and unconfined recreation.
Wilderness areas are rare, wild places set aside by Congress where the land is allowed to retain its natural state, serving as a natural haven for humans to escape modern civilization and for nature to be itself. To help minimize human impacts in wilderness and maintain its character, several laws and regulations have been put in place and we ask that visitors practice "Leave No Trace ethics."
Most visitors spend their time in the wilderness’s lower, more accessible areas, such as the first several miles of the Bell Trail. Hiking, fishing, swimming, wildlife viewing, and running are popular forms of recreation for this area.
- Bell Trail #13: the only developed route into Wet Beaver Creek Canyon and the wilderness area it shelters.
- Apache Maid Trail #15: starts at the mouth of Wet Beaver Creek Canyon, then splits from Bell Trail to climb the canyon's north wall.
- Wier Trail #85: contours from near the information board on the Bell Trail before dropping to creek level.
- White Mesa Trail #86: on the west side of Casner Canyon.
Day Use and Picnic Areas
- Lawrence Crossing: Small free campground next to the creek, with toilet and fire rings, located 2 miles away: FR 618 to FR 121 to FR 618G.
- Dispersed camping along Forest Road 618: Numerous locations, no facilities.
- Clear Creek Campground: Fee-based campground with all amenities, located on West Clear Creek; follow FR 618 to SR 260 to Clear Creek Campground. Approximately 13 miles from Beaver Creek Day Use Picnic Site on dirt road.
At a Glance
|Closest Towns:||Sedona, AZ|
|Operated By:||Red Rock District - 928-203-2900|
Location: 43 miles south of Flagstaff on graveled Forest Roads suitable for passenger vehicles in most weather.
Access: Wet Beaver Creek Canyon is most accessible from FR 618 off Interstate 17 45 miles south of Flagstaff. Upstream access is possible south of the Apache Maid Lookout Tower from FR 213 and FR 229 off I-17 at the Stoneman Lake Exit.
Click map thumbnail for larger view.
Attractions: Trails for hiking and horseback riding, Red rocks and other great scenery, Wildlife viewing, Fishing, Swimming
Do not disturb cultural/archeology sites (Antiquity’s Act 1906)
No motorized equipment or vehicles allowed. (Wilderness Act 1964)
No motorized or mechanized transport (ie... bicycles, strollers, etc) allowed. (Wilderness Act 1964)
No camping or campfires on the Bell Trail and Wet Beaver Creek Wilderness Areas. See Wet Beaver Creek Camping and Campfire Prohibition: Forest Order and Map
Public nudity is prohibited. See the Public Nudity Prohibition Forest Order and Map. This prohibition applies to Beaver Creek campground and surrounding area, West Clear Creek in the Bullpen area, and Clear Creek Campground.
Leave No Trace: Recognize your role in preserving wild lands by practicing these Leave No Trace principles:
- Plan ahead and prepare.
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
- Dispose of waste properly.
- Leave what you find.
- Minimize campfire impacts.
- Respect wildlife.
- Be considerate of other visitors.