A pool we encountered early on the second day.

Lower West Clear Creek -June 2004


Mike did more hanging around, accidentally letting go of his pack. We were up at 5:45 and on the trail by 6:45. We quickly covered the stretch where the stream heads south as this section let you stay mostly out of the stream. However, as soon as the creek turned west again we reached the first pool of the day(waypoint 28). We waded through this pool by keeping left. Soon we came across 2 more pools that we were able to bypass by climbing along the south wall of the canyon. (and I do mean climbing). We might as well have swam those pools as there was another pool right below them we had to wade. We did 4 swims and 4 wades (w-sss-w-sww), passing the Rock Spire (waypoint 29)after the last wade and taking a break about 9:30.

Rock Spire to Redrock Narrows

This rock spire makes a good landmark. We hit the trail again around 10:00, quickly hitting a pool that was a teabag only because we carefully picked our path. It probably should have been a full wade. (If I recall correctly, we did some acrobatic rockhopping). (waypoint 30). After this we hit 2 more swims where the patch on my raft, which had been slowly leaking all day, really died. We took a break at 11:15 to tried and fix my raft *WPT31*. We next hit 2 deep wades followed by 2 swims just before the redrock narrows. We stopped for lunch around 12:30. *WPT32*.

After lunch we continued on down the creek. About 3pm we reached another pool which we tried to bypass by scrambling along the redrock wall. We stopped after about 15 minutes worth when the route we were following ended at a crack in the canyon wall that was 3ft wide and 50+ft high. I almost tried crossing it on a rock bridge, but Mike wisely insisted that we turn back. My willingness to try such things was due in large part to my float being in such bad shape, and my being an equally poor swimmer. We backtracked to the pool and it turned out to be a chest-deep wader.

The 12' high waterfall.  Bypass it easily on the South. About 5pm we reached the incredible 12' waterfall. Along the south side we found what appeared to be a trail heading up the south wall. Some old sneakers seemed to indicate it might be a viable route. Still being worried about my float, we followed this until it dissapeared entirely, wasting about 45 minutes. Frustrated, we quickly returned to the waterfall, and saw the route was quite obvious. Where we followed the wash upward an easy descent went down along the south wall. We hiked down and stopped to work on our floats (Mike had put a small hole in his on our little "detour", I broke into the first aid kit for some tape to aid my patch) before we swam this pool and one more right after it. At 7:30, with light fading fast, we made camp for the night and hoped that we had passed the last swim.