West Clear Creek


The deep, rocky canyon cut by West Clear Creek, as it slices its way free of the Mogollon rim, is home to West Clear Creek Wilderness, one of the most unique Wilderness Areas in the Southwest. This gorge is so narrow that in places the stream fills it from wall to wall. To descend one has to swim or wade, not once but as many as 15 or 20 times. Lower reaches of the canyon are more accessible and provide excellent places for secluded recreation such as swimming, hiking, trout fishing, and wildlife watching. In addition to the many colorful birds in this area, it is home to some interesting larger creatures such as black bear, javelina, and mountain lion.

Campground Season: All year at Clear Creek Campground near Highway 260. Clear Creek Campground is open year-round.

Attractions: Fishing, camping, waterplay, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, photography


At a Glance

Open Season: Year-round
Closest Towns: Camp Verde, AZ; Sedona, AZ
Operated By: Red Rock Ranger District 928-203-2900 or Mogollon Rim Ranger District 928-477-2255

General Information


Location: 60 miles south of Flagstaff just off a paved State Highway 260. Elevation is 3,200 ft.

Access: Drive 50 miles south of Flagstaff on I-17, take any Camp Verde exit and head east through Camp Verde. Drive 6 miles on State Highway 260. Just past FR 618 is the Clear Creek Campground. Turn north to the campground.



Click map thumbnail for a larger view.

West Clear Creek Map


General Notes:


  • Hiking through the canyon's inner gorge is difficult and can be dangerous. It is not recommended for inexperienced hikers.
  • No mechanical vehicles in Wilderness.
  • The western portion of West Clear Creek is managed by the Red Rock Ranger District (928-203-2900). The eastern portion is managed by the Mogollon Rim Ranger District (928-477-2255). The District boundary runs north-south through the Home Take Draw area.


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