2012 AH Classic Wall CalendarShop the AH Store >>

Our 2015 calendars are now available!

Classic Wall Calendar

CL15 $10.99

Our classic 13-month spiral-bound calendar features 30 full-color photographs and a handy map of Arizona on the back.

Order Now >>
Purchase Camping GuideShop the AH Store >>

Featured Book

Arizona Highways
Camping Guide

AGCS3 $22.95

Our newest book, which includes Arizona Highways iconic photography and maps, is sorted by region and is written for car-campers and families. Detailed information about accessibilty, amenities and fees is included for each campground.

Order Now >>
2011 AH Wildlife CalendarSee Selection of Images >>

Featured Prints

Poster Prints
Special Edition Prints

Many of the extraordinary images found in our award-winning magazine, scenic coffee-table books and exquisite calendars can be purchased as fine posters and prints.

Order Now >>
Shop the AH Store >>

Featured Gift Item

Centennial Issue Reprint

SPCENN2 $4.99

If you missed our February 100-page Centennial Issue on newsstands earlier this year, here's your second chance to get a copy of this special collector's edition of Arizona Highways magazine..

Order Now >>

  • print page
  • Tell a Friend
  • Post to Facebook
  • YouTube
  • past to del.icio.us
BULLEThiking archive
Scenic Drives Archive Photo
Limestone terraces frame the tranquil pools of East Clear Creek on Arizona's Mogollon Rim.

© Nick Berezenko


>> Click on image to view
it larger in a separate window.

Additional Reading expand
Arizona Hiking Guide Book

Our newest book, Arizona Highways Hiking Guide, is now available and features 52 of Arizona's best day hikes for winter, spring, summer and fall.

To order, call 800-543-5432
or visit our online store.


Kinder Crossing
Narrow canyons, pine-covered hillsides and the allure of East Clear Creek highlight this hike in the heart of Rim Country.

By Scott Parrish

More than 100 years have passed since R.C. Kinder's sheep waded East Clear Creek at his namesake crossing below Blue Ridge Reservoir in the heart of Mogollon Rim Country. Now, the lug-soled boots of hikers and fishermen track Kinder Crossing Trail, a one-way hike of .75 miles or 1.5 miles, depending on your sense of adventure.

East Clear Creek slips between terraced limestone cliffs. Thickets of willow and alder trees frame somnolent pools, and an occasional trout surfaces to inhale its insect lunch. An easy access into the 600-foot-deep chasm along Kinder Crossing Trail appears at the end of Forest Road 95T and heads northeast down an easy slope conveniently stacked with steps of pitted limestone and gnarled roots. Steller's jays flash blue among the trees, and hawks pirouette overhead. After about 200 yards, the stream comes into view to the right. The track descends gently over bony limestone rubble and through a shaded saddle, where footprints of deer, elk and humans mingle.

After the saddle, instead of the route shown on the USGS map, the trail drops off steeply to the right. Long, angled slabs of sandstone offer footholds for hikers on a series of tightly wound, well-engineered switchbacks.

Near the end of the .75-mile trip, about 100 feet separate the trail and stream. A large, dark pool broods below a ledge overgrown with pines, firs and oaks. Outcrops of layered sandstone peek from the grassy slope. Underfoot, a hematite-encrusted section of sandstone leaves the impression you're walking on a pavement of iron.

The trail reaches the stream at an elevated bench covered by mighty ponderosa pines. The path continues downstream to the confluence of Yaeger Canyon and crosses at the head of a long, shallow pool formed by a large sandstone abutment that juts into the stream. Relentless water and persistent time have eaten through the rock, creating an algae-covered spillway into the next large pool. Most day-hikers stop for lunch and a swim there, and then head back out the way they came.

But adventurous types continue along the trail and cross the canyon — if they're armed with good route-finding skills and the appropriate topo maps. From the pool on, no cairns or blazes mark the way. This trail section heads downstream for another .75 miles over gravel bars dotted with willows, alders and wildflowers. Beavers inhabit some of the long pools. Then the trail turns east up a long, sloping ridge to connect with Forest Road 137.

Trail Guideclick to expand

Map of Area

Length:
.75 miles or 1.5 miles, one way
Elevation: 6,460 to 7,000 feet
Difficulty: Moderate
Payoff: Scenery, creekside swimming
Getting There: From Payson, drive 50 miles north on State Route 87 to the Blue Ridge Ranger Station. Just past the ranger station, take the first right onto Forest Road 95 and drive 4.1 miles to Forest Road 95T, turn left and follow the road for .6 miles to the Kinder Crossing Trail sign at a fork in the road. Four-wheel-drive vehicles can continue for another .1 miles to the actual trailhead.
Information: 928-477-2255 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino
Leave No Trace Ethics:
  • Plan ahead and be prepared.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  • Dispose of waste properly and pack out your trash.
  • Leave what you find.
  • Respect wildlife and minimize impact.
  • Be considerate of others.
  • >> Back to Hiking Archive


    Story ArchivesFind previously published stories online... [more]

    Global SnapshotsSend us a photo of you or someone you know posing with Arizona Highways. We'll post it on our website. It's that simple... [more]

    Photo of the DaySend us a photo of you or someone you know posing with Arizona Highways. We'll post it on our website. It's that simple... [more]

     

    Social MediaJoin our Facebook, Twitter and Flickr communities for behind-the-scenes glimpses at Arizona Highways... [more]

    Events & PromotionsEscape, experience and explore Arizona, one event at a time... [more]

    Best of AZ50 of our favorite things around the state, including photography, nature, dining, adventure, lodging... [more]


    site map  |  terms of use  |  privacy policy  |  corporate sales  |  about us  |  contact us

    Arizona Highways Television AZ Dept. of Transportation AZ Dept. of Public Safety Arizona Highways Photo Workshops

    © Copyright 2014 Arizona Department of Transportation, State of Arizona. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The images on this Web site are copyrighted, digitally watermarked and registered with the Digimarc tracking system. All rights reserved. Copying and downloading images from this site are strictly prohibited.