Hike to 'The Crack' at Wet Beaver Creek

Bell Trailhead, Yavapai County, Arizona, United States

  • Activities:

    Photography, Swimming, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Spring, Autumn, Winter

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    7 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    500 Feet

Adult Beverages
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

This 7-mile out-and-back hike will reward you with a rad swimming hole to cool off and perfect your cannonball.

'The Crack' is a cliff jumper's dream, but it also offers something for everyone, with smooth rocks for sunbathing and shallow waters for wading. To get to The Crack, it's about a 3.5-mile hike each way, making it slightly less popular than Sedona's more accessible swimming holes. While you only gain about 500 feet of elevation, the hot desert sun is what makes this hike tough - but the swimming hole makes it totally worth it.

You'll park at the Bell Trailhead in a well-marked parking lot (just follow the signs for Beaver Creek Work Center). There are pit toilets at the trailhead and no fee or permit required to park there. On nice days during fall and spring, the parking lot can fill up, in which case you can park in the overflow parking areas (you'll see signs before arriving at the trailhead).

From the parking lot, follow the signs for Bell Trail. There will be two times where you'll come to a fork in the trail - once at Weir Trail and once to pass the creek - stay to the left both times. Not long after you pass the second fork, you'll arrive at the swimming hole. All that's left to do is choose a spot and jump in! And then hike back, of course...

Sidenote: No cell service is available on the trail or at the swimming hole.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Swimsuit
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks/Lunch
  • Music
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Overall rating: 

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As mentioned, the second half of the hike is really pretty. The day we went, an ASU Frat also showed up, and kind of spoiled it for us. Lots of drinking and partying, with 100+ people at the swimming hole. If you go, go early in the morning or during the week!

5 months ago
5 months ago

Really great hike. Some of the most lovely views! Not too difficult, bring plenty of water. The water at the crack is ice cold and it was not clear but muddy (beginning of August). This makes cliff jumping a little more iffy, because you can't see anything. Still an absolute blast.

7 months ago
7 months ago

As mentioned by others - the beginning of this hike is rather dull, however the final third more than makes up for the lack luster beginning. (You know it's good when the wife wants to stop every 200 ft and snap a photo) The cliffs may not be as high as others, but they still can be just as fun. I would highly recommend going if you haven't!

7 months ago
7 months ago

This is the go-to spot for the ASU Outdoors Club's kick off trip. The short hike followed by an afternoon by the water is always a big hit. I've been here 3 times now, and although the hike is always hot at the end of August, the usually cool water feels so refreshing!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Went here in late October. Started around 1pm. Beginning of the hike is on a trail almost wise enough for three people to walk comfortably side by side. It's a little boring walking on an easy trail, but the neat views help. At the first fork mentioned in the details, the trail gets more interesting, winding around the sides of red rock cliffs. "The Crack" was amazing: totally gorgeous and not huge, but definitely roomy enough to share if there were multiple groups there (we had it all to ourselves). The water was freeeeeezing, and I wish I had brought my Chackos so I could stand more solidly on the kind of slimy rocks underwater. But it felt so great to cool down after a hot hike. Would love to come back out here again.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

The hike starts a bit boring but gets more scenic as you make your way into the canyon. It offers a few spots to quickly run down and enjoy the creek. As you near the "crack" don't be surprised to find 20+ people there enjoying it as well (thus the -1 star). Bring some goggles! The pools are pretty deep, and after you jump off the variety of cliffs you will want to check out what's underwater.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Brooke Van Poppelen

In a few words, I am an adventure junkie, a pizza enthusiast and I’ve never met a dog I didn’t like. I left the corporate world for a life of adventure and haven't looked back.

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