Beaver Creek is the perfect day trip with kids! In about 1.5 hours from Phoenix, you can be surrounded by lush trees, nature, and the cool beauty of Beaver Creek. When it’s not swimming season, or for variety, there are numerous hiking trails to explore, including petroglyphs.
We visited in September with a group of friends. There was plenty of water in the creek and swimming hole! The creek ranged from ankle deep to waist deep, with the swimming hole area downstream being 5-6 feet deep. We had little ones of numerous ages and all had a great time in the water and exploring along the banks. (Some of the rocks can be fairly slippery, so water shoes might be handy.) I did bring a Puddle Jumper (floatie) for our 3.5 year old son for safety and peace of mind.
The larger swimming area is more open, with red dirt so FYI, it might stain shoes or clothing. We had no issues getting the dirt to wash out, however. There are lots of large rocks for rock hopping, and trees to climb! The kids almost preferred this are over the first section we visited.
The appeal of visiting Beaver Creek is that there is virtually no hike involved. Unless you want to explore, or need to social distance, the water is instantly available with just a short walk down the slope from the parking lot. The restrooms were very clean, thanks to the local host. We brought along camping chairs, buckets and scoops, a lunch, and stayed around 6 hours. It was the perfect getaway from the still stifling Phoenix summer.
Visiting this area of Beaver Creek for a day trip with kids is easily accessible off the I17, just north of Camp Verde, and open year round, from dawn to dusk. A Google search for “Beaver Creek Picnic and Day Use Area” will bring up accurate directions. The popular swimming hole at “The Crack” of Beaver Creek is a 3.5 mile hike north beyond this area. Might be worth the trek if you have teenagers!
There are two sections at the creek, a fee and non fee area. (This is a self pay station, exact cash only.) Learn more about what each area offers here. For this visit, we paid to park, both to be closer to the shallow potion of the creek and to access the better restrooms and picnic tables. If we went again, I’d likely opt for the non fee area if available. Note that the parking lots fills up quickly in the summer, and on weekends. Also check out this website for information on the nearby V Bar V Heritage Site.
Beaver Creek Picnic and Day Use Area
Forest Service Road 618
Rimrock, AZ 86335
For more day trip ideas, browse this list of blog posts covering places all over the state!