Towel Creek Trail #67
Trailhead: Towel Creek
Length: 14 miles roundtrip
Managing Agency: Coconino National Forest
Journal: "A Rather Crappy Adventure"
Directions to Trailhead:
From Camp Verde, drive east on AZ 260 for 10 miles to Fossil Springs Road (FR 708). Drive south for nine miles on FR 708 to the trailhead on the right side of the road. The trailhead is difficult to find, although it is right next to the road. There is a sign for it but it is on the other side of the road and facing the wrong way. Parking is problematic too. There is a parking area .2 miles north of the trailhead, or you could take your chances and park along the road. This trailhead is accessible in car.
This is a really interesting hike with lots to see, but it gets quite difficult due to the rocky terrain.
From the trailhead, the trail climbs for an 1/8th of a mile to an old jeep road. The trail is quite faint, so if you loose it, just keep climbing and eventually you will reach the jeep road. Once on the Jeep road, you will follow it for 2 miles as it climbs up and around to Towel Tank. Please note that there is another tank that you will pass that is off to your left and below the road -- this is not Towel Tank. Towel Tank is at the very end of the jeep road.
From Towel Tank, cross through the gate below the earthen dam of the tank. You will then see the foot path begin its decent along Towel Creek. As you descend the 4.5 miles to the Verde River, the trail becomes very rocky and slippery.
Approx. 0.6 miles from the tank is the unsigned junction for Towel Spring. The fork in the trail is easy to see. Take the left fork for the spring (1/4 mile). The spring is pretty, but was only trickling in January 2000. Although, the topographical map indicates an second route back to the main trail, I was unable to find it. Return the way you came.
The right fork is the main Towel Creek Trail #67. Continuing on its descent, the trail crossed Towel Creek for .5 mile and the crosses back. 4.5 miles from the trailhead you will see Anazazi ruins in some caves above the north bank of the creek. We did not try to get to them, although they appeared to be accessible with some bushwhacking.
About 1/2 mile from the ruins the trail crosses Towel Creek again. There is a small cabin on the north side. The trail then climbs up and over a ridge (6.0 miles) and the descends north west to the Verde River.
Return the way you came.
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