The Wet Beaver Wilderness occupies about 6,155 acres in the smallest of 4 major canyons cut into the red rock rim country of Coconino National Forest. Wet Beaver Creek Canyon is a steep-sided and very narrow gorge eroded deep into the Supai sandstone and shale of the Colorado Plateau's southern escarpment. This is a very remote area with few human intruders. Those folks who do come here tend to stay in the lower reaches of the canyon as access to the upper canyon requires either wading or swimming to cross quite a few large pools of cold water trapped between the sheer walls of the canyon.

Elevations in Wet Beaver Wilderness vary between a high of about 6,200' and a low of about 3,000' near the Verde River. The canyon bottom is a pristine riparian habitat characterized by alders, sycamores and cottonwoods rising high above streamside willows and grasses. You'll find deer, elk, mountain lion, black bear, skunk, gray fox, coyote, bobcat and javelina.

The lower end of the canyon is accessible via the Bell Trail, which has a trailhead off of FR 618, east of Camp Verde. The Bell Trail follows the creek upstream for several miles before climbing out of the canyon and leaving the wilderness. Upstream of Bell Crossing is where the wall-to-wall pools start. The upper end of the canyon is accessible via the Apache Maid Trail south of the Apache Maid fire lookout tower off of FR's 213 and 229. Most passenger vehicles can reach these trailheads in most weather.

The lower sections of Wet Beaver Wilderness are popular for hiking, camping, fishing and swimming. In the upper sections, you might not see people for days...