Days
<1
Motors Allowed?
Yes
Difficulty
Easy / Class A
Distance
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

East Clear Creek is a tributary to the Little Colorado River which flows north from the Mogollon Rim. Near Winslow, Arizona, the creek is backed up behind a dam, creating a long, narrow lake bounded by elegant sandstone walls. East Clear Creek provides opportunities for swimming, cliff jumping, boating, fishing, and escaping the oppressive summer heat.

The adventure starts in McHood Park, administered by the City of Winslow. The park has a boat ramp, a number of picnic tables, vault toilets and ramadas. The park itself is rather rundown, overcrowded, and littered with beers cans and trash; however, a short paddle upstream provides a completely different experience.

As you move under the bridge and upstream, the fluted sandstone walls slowly rise around you forming a beautiful, deep canyon. Graffiti and litter are common near McHood Park. One prominent ledge marked by a large spray painted batman symbol is a popular cliff jumping spot. Crowds of people typically line the banks fishing and swimming. About three-quarters of a mile up canyon, the graffiti and the crowds begin to disappear. Several popular deep water soloing routes can be found, and cliffs on either side offer great opportunities to jump in. Watch carefully for petroglyphs carved into the rocks, some very impressive panels can be found in this canyon.

Eventually, after about 2 miles, you pass a partially destroyed old railroad pump station and beach on river left (right when headed upstream). Depending on water level, this indicates that you are getting close to the end of the reservoir. Still waters give way to a slight current and riparian vegetation begins to crowd in. The channel now becomes a canyon bound stream, alternating between pools and riffles. It can be difficult to continue paddling beyond this point. It's possible to continue hiking upstream, although portions of stream fill the canyon and require swimming. Small boats can easily be portaged. Continue hiking up stream to find beautiful huecos in solid sandstone and great trout fishing. Rainbows, brown, and brook trout are all found here.

Motor boats are allowed in the reservoir and it is not uncommon for jet skiers to motor quickly up and down the canyon creating waves that, when amplified by the tight canyon, can tip a kayak or canoe. Please pack out all of your trash. Feel free to pick up some of the litter lying around and help keep this place beautiful. While this place can be rather crowded near McHood park, few people venture more than a mile upstream, and solitude can be found if you work for it.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Cliff jumping.

Cons

Litter. Graffiti. Crowds.

Water Temperature

32.00 °F (0.00 °C)

Features

Fishing
Picnic tables

Typically multi-day

No

Shuttle required

No

Site characteristics: Water

Lake

Portage required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

05/27/2018
Premiere spot for southern Californians looking to do some deep water soloing!
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