Walnut Creek gets its name from the small but reliable tributary at its northern terminus which has numerous old walnut trees along its banks. The trail begins in the tall Ponderosa pines common to the Arizona high country, where the wind sings a relaxing song as it slips through the needles of the highest branches. The sound is guaranteed to soothe even the most frayed nerves. Aberts squirrels dart across the trail in front of you. Deer look warily from the shadows as you pass. Stream crossings offer opportunities for making a splash. The road descends slowly and enters the high chaparral biome with juniper, Gambel oak, and manzanita replacing the pines. The trail is a bit rockier here. The views of Juniper Mesa north of the Walnut Creek valley more than makeup for the increased jostling. All too soon the drive is over, but perhaps one of the many nice campsites along the way would make a good place to set up camp and enjoy an evening under the stars in the Prescott National Forest.
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