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Name: Kinder Crossing #19 Author's Rating:
Author: Matt Marine Avg. User Rating: (based on one vote)
Type: Hike Difficulty: (Learner trail)
Time: 2 - 3 hours Region: NE Arizona
Length: 2.25 miles (roundtrip) Elevation gain/loss/change: +680 / -680 ft / +0 ft (roundtrip)
Type: Out and back Avg Elevation: 6700 ft
Best time to go: fall, spring, summer Fees: None
Fitness rating: Medium Educational Merit: Low
Danger/fear rating: Medium Scenic Beauty: High
Hours of Operation: NA Last updated: June, 2013
Offroad Passport Forum: Click here to join the discussion on Offroad Passport regarding my three day camping trip to the Mogollon Rim including the hike to Kinder Creek.
Short Description: A short, but steep hike down to a nice small creek along the Mogollon Rim
Geocaches: Tons of cool geocaches around. Here's just a few. Moqui's Canine Cache; East Clear Creek Cache; Kinder
References / Contact Information: Coconino National Forest; Hike Arizona
Points of interest: Kinder Crossing; East Clear Creek
Special Considerations: Need a current MVUM from the Coconino National Forest. Lots of dogs when I hiked this trail.
How to get there: From Phoenix, take I-17 north to exit 285 and the General Crook Trail. Follow this for about 1.5 miles until you turn right onto Hwy 260. Follow Hwy 260 for 32 miles until you reach Hwy 87. Take a left and drive north for 21 miles. Take a right onto FR 95 and drive 4.2 miles until you reach Waypoint 001 at FR 95T. Click here for directions and a map.

Trail Description

This is a short, but but steep hike down to a very beautiful creek along the Mogollon Plateau in northeast Arizona. It's well worth the trip though. After you get down to East Clear Creek, make sure you spend some time exploring the area. You can head down to Kinder Crossing and swim in the pools or lounge by the waterfall. Don't miss this hike!

General Information and History

June 2013 Update: I found the following in the Arizona's Names X Mark the Place: Historical Names of Places in Arizona by Byrd Howell Granger. Runyon C. Kinder was a sheepman in this area in the late 1800s. His name also applies to Kinder Spring and Kinder Draw.

This hike was featured in the Arizona Highways April 2000 "Hike of the Month". I don't have any information on why it's called Kinder Crossing yet, but I bet it was named after some cattle or sheep rancher in the area. There's a Kinder Tank that's sort of nearby on the rim.

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The Trail

You need a high-clearance vehicle to drive the 1/2 mile from FR95 along FR95T to the trailhead. If you have a car, you can park at a few parking spots near the beginning of FR95T. If you've got a high-clearance vehicle, turn onto FR95T at Waypoint 001 and drive to the parking area at Waypoint 002.

This parking area has room for at least 6 or more trucks. Once you're there, get your swimming trunks on (if it's summer and warm) and head down the old FS road. Don't forget to bring your drinking water. Although short, it's a tough hike out.

I believe this is as far as you should go in your vehicle. When I hiked this, a truck was parked down at Waypoint 003 (the actual end of the FR), but I don't think the FS wants you to do that. It wasn't clear the time I went. You may need 4WD for this section of the trail. Better to park at the parking area and hike down. It's less than 1/4 of a mile.

Hike down the old road for about 1/4 of a mile and turn right off the road onto the hiking trail (there's a small sign). The first section of the trail is a little rocky, but not too steep. After you get about 1/2 mile into the hike, the trail goes down the steep canyon wall. The trail sometimes can be a little hard to distinguish since it is mostly rock in a few sections.

Continue to follow the switchbacks down to the canyon bottom. After about 3/4 of a mile from the start, you'll reach East Clear Creek. There's a nice sandy (by Arizona terms) beach here with a large pool of water. If you're really warm, take a dip here. Or you can wait for the larger pools farther down the creek.

Continue hiking along the faint trail on the near side of the creek toward the north (down the water flow). After a few hundred yards, you will see the trail cross the creek in some dense foilage. This can be hard to see. You may hear a distinct bubbling sound as you come to this point and it help find the crossing.

Cross through the brush and over to the other side. There's another large pool of water with some even better sand just north of here. Continue through the sand, keeping to the trail on the far side of the creek. After another few hundred yards, you will climb up a short rocky section and come down to a large pool of water and flat rock. To your left is a nice waterfall. Actually, it's more like a waterslide, but this is Arizona and any water flowing over rocks is something to celebrate.

Reading some of the hiking reports after I went, it looks like there's an open area with some stone foundations nearby. I don't know where they are, but wish I would have known about them and tried to find them.

When you're done enjoying the water, head back the way you came in. For those more adventurous, you can make the climb out of the canyon on the east side. The trails isn't as well marked, but it should link up with FR 137 (though I can't verify this siince I have not been on this section of the trail). When researching this trail, an Experience Arizona subscriber sent me this message: BTW, the maps are all wrong on where Kinder Crossing exits on the other side. You have to hike downstream about a half mile, around the horseshoe with the rock slide and cool pool and back to the west to where it horseshoes around another ridge coming in from the east. The exit trail goes straight up that ridge.

Whatever you decide to do, be safe and have fun!

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