Wet Beaver Wilderness


Wet Beaver Wilderness 1

This tucked away desert oasis is the smallest of four major canyons that cut the Coconino National Forest's red rock rim country. Though it may be small, the scenery you'll find here is none the less impressive. Much of the narrow steep-sided gorge Wet Beaver Creek Canyon has carved into the Colorado Plateau's southern face is quite remote and few people venture into its inner depths. The easiest access is upstream from the canyon mouth along a well used hiking trail. Even in this case reaching the gorge's more remote upper stretches is no easy task. Continuing upstream beyond where the Bell Trail climbs out of the canyon and out of the wilderness requires swimming or wading a number of coldwater pools which stretch from wall to canyon wall.

Wet Beaver Wilderness 1

Most of those who come here confine their visit to the area's lower, more accessible reaches which provide a popular place to swim, fish, camp and hike in a picturesque, setting. Others venture upstream of Bell Crossing where the solitude deepens as you venture farther from this area's more popular haunts.



  • 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

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. Single-unit sites are on a first-come, first-served basis only. Group site reservations are required from Recreation.gov.


At a Glance

Open Season: Year-round
Closest Towns: Sedona, AZ
Operated By: Red Rock District - 928-203-2900

General Information


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.

Wet Beaver Wilderness Map


General Notes:

Attractions: Trails for hiking and horseback riding, Red rocks and other great scenery, Wildlife viewing, Fishing, Swimming


Additional Information: The Wilderness Institute: Wet Beaver Wilderness



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