Swimmin' in 'Zona
Running out of dog-friendly parks and places to visit in Utah, we moseyed down south to see what Arizona had to offer. For one, it offered higher temperatures and vast desolate wasteland. But besides that, Arizona has some amazing natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon and Havasu Falls - neither of which we visited.
However, one stop we HAD to make was to the discreetly named swimming hole, "The Crack” at Wet Beaver Creek. Sound like a joke? We thought so, too. This creek is located in the Coconino National Forest. A mere 3.3 miles from the trailhead, the refreshing pools of the Crack are surrounded by walls of red rock. While most of the trail is nice and level, the last 1.3 miles is a real test of your physical stamina as well as faith that there is a cool body of water waiting for you at the end of the trail. The changes in elevation throughout most of the third mile makes it feel like you are on a never-ending search for a mythical oasis hidden somewhere around the mountain.
You can begin to hear water flowing not too far from the actual pools - that’s how you know you are close. There are several access points to the water, some involve jumping. Mila chose the “walk-in” approach, I jumped in. After the refreshing dip in the ice cold water and the equally unrefreshing walk back up the trail, we spent that night in Coconino and headed further south to Apache Lake the following morning.
P.S. We wrote about The Crack for The Outbound, which you can find here.
Wanting to continue with our water theme, we drove out to the highly controversial Apache Lake for two days before we headed to the Phoenix area for Brooke’s third anniversary of turning 22. Tucked away in some place with no reception, Apache Lake was one of the busiest and most commercialized locations we had camped yet, but it was still amazing. With a plethora of sites and all the amenities one could want (fire ring, table, water, bathroom), we found a spot and got to camping. We had prime real estate on the shores of the lake. If it weren’t for the conspicuously sedentary couple next to us, it would be up for nomination as one of the best camping sites yet.
The lake is surrounded by the Apache Mountains (possibly incorrect name), and abundant with humanlife, as well as wildlife. I saw birds, a lizard, and a dead fish within hours of each other. I tried my hand at the other oldest profession, hunting aka fishing, and was unsuccessful. The lake was great for kayaking and provided a decent sunset. Needless to say, we would definitely come back one day if we were in the area looking to camp.