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Clear Creek in Arizona

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

Mc Hood City Park

I put in around 8:00am, at the north ramp, on a beautiful spring day. I paddled through the reeds in the main lake and entered Clear Creek, going under the bridge. I paddled into a un-detectable current along sheer cliffs for about 2 miles.

Around the 2 mile mark, just before the only man made structure, on the north cliff, I found some well preserved petroglyphs. Look for the "square anatomically correct man", or the "Bart Simpson coming from a deer's rump". This was a highlight of the trip. I landed at the man made structure (the only place to land until the end) and had lunch and explored the structure.

After some prime picnic food I set off to continue up the canyon. I paddled into an increasing current for about 1.5 miles finally reaching some very impressive rapids. It being cold snowmelt I only pulled my boat past the first set for a wild 1 minute ride!

The paddle back went fast going with the current.I slowed down at the petroglyphs for a final look and moved on at a quick pace. When I got to the lake I was fortunate enough to witness a Native American man teaching a young boy to fish. They caught a very impressive Bass, using a technique I have never seen, and am not willing to disclose. The trip was an epic start to my summer.

During swimming season, it can get crowded with beer drinkers and boom boxes for the first mile. After that it is peaceful and you will only see like-minded paddlers.


There is a campground on the west side of the lake and picnic ramadas and a playground on the east side.


fees only for camping, I'm not sure what they are.


from Winslow go south, under the railroad tracks on HWY 87 for about 1 mile (towards Payson). Look for the signs for Mc Hood City Park and turn left. follow the road about 4 miles to the lake. Turn before the bridge for the lake (main) ramp, or after the bridge for a close to the canyon put in.


Paddling Arizona by Tyler Williams

Trip Details

  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location