Bell Trail #13 Near Sedona
Bell Trail is located in the Wet Beaver Wilderness, southeast of Sedona. The trailhead is just off Interstate 17 at Exit 298 which is the turnoff to reach both Sedona and Bell Trail. The exit point is just north of Camp Verde, Arizona. From the I-17 Freeway, the area appears to be scrubby desert, but don't let that fool you. Just a couple of miles east of the freeway, you will discover a lush riparian area that is one of the most beautiful places to hike in Arizona.
Bell Trail #13 is the only developed route into Wet Beaver Creek Canyon and the Wilderness Area that it shelters. Bell Trail is a very popular trail where hikers and anglers go to enjoy the tranquility and solitude. They are enticed by the cool, clear stream that flows all year through a very lush and scenic desert canyon. The visual rewards will beckon hikers back again and again.
The trailhead begins about 2 miles east of the freeway next to Beaver Creek Campground. Shortly after beginning the hike, you will be greeted with lush vegetation and the shade of cottonwood trees. Several side-trails lead to flowing waters, soft waterfalls, swimming holes and great fishing spots. Be sure to bring fishing gear to catch some feisty trout.
Head To The Crack or The Mogollon Rim
At the 3.25-mile point, the trail comes to a junction near Bell Crossing. At this point, hikers have the option of turning right and crossing the creek to begin an 8-mile climb to the top of the Mogollon Rim with an elevation gain of about 1,200 feet. Hikers that choose rim-hike option should be aware that the trail leading to the rim's top is poorly marked and there is no water beyond that point.
However, most hikers will turn left at the junction. They head to what's known to locals as "the crack". Tall red cliffs form the crack where you can take the plunge into one of the most beautiful swimming holes in Arizona. The crack is tucked into a slender slot canyon where the natural spring-fed waters feed Wet Beaver Creek.
Hikers that go to the crack can return to the junction and either return back to the Bell Trailhead completing a great 6.5 mile round trip hike, or continue hiking from the bottom of the canyon to the top of the Mogollon Rim.
It is important to note that camping and campfires are not permitted on Bell Trail or in the Wet Beaver Creek Wilderness areas. It is a day-use area only. Camping is permitted at the Beaver Creek Campground near the trail head. Motorized vehicles are not permitted on Bell Trail and mechanized vehicles are not permitted in the Wilderness.
Trailers are discouraged at the Bell Trail Trailhead. Those with trailers and equestrian trailers are encouraged to use the Bruce Brockett Trailhead which is just north of the Bell Trailhead. The Bruce Brockett Trailhead will connect to the Bell Trail.
About The Trail
Getting To Bell Trail
From Phoenix. Drive north on I-17 to Exit 298. Proceed east on Beaver Creek Road (Forest Road 618) for 2.1 miles to the trailhead. It is about 115 miles from Phoenix.
From Flagstaff. Drive 40 miles south from Flagstaff on Interstate 17. Leave the interstate at the AZ 179 interchange. Turn east under the highway and drive about 1.5 miles east to the old Beaver Creek Ranger Station turnoff. Turn north about a quarter mile to the parking lot and trailhead.
From Sedona. Drive south on Arizona Highway 179. Drive under I-17 east about 1.5 miles to the old Beaver Creek Ranger Station turnoff. Turn north about a quarter mile to the parking lot and trailhead. It is about 21 miles from Sedona.
Bell Trail Map Location
Bell Trail and Wet Beaver Creek Wilderness Photos
Valerie Millett has captured the visual essence of Bell Trail and the Wet Beaver Creek. She has permitted our use of her fine art photos for your viewing pleasure. All pictures are copyright-owned by her and may not be used without her permission. Visit the Valerie Millett Blog to view other great photos of Arizona locations.
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