July 8, 2012 · 9:30 AM
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This hike is rated EASY.
Come hike the Parsons Trail in the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness. It is a pleasant stroll along a cool, clear desert stream set in a magnificent red rock canyon. The trail leads through the lower reaches of this wilderness through a riparian area rich in plant and animal life. Colorful cliffs that are a unique mix of dark columnar basalt, red sandstone, and buff colored limestone enclose the lush green of the oasis. The trail has a short 200 ft drop at the beginning, otherwise it is relatively flat the whole way. Our mileage and time are variable depending on where we turn around and how long we swim. Bring swimwear, towel, and water shoes for the swim hole. For the hike bring plenty of drinking water, food (snacks and lunch) for the trail, cameras, and sun protection of some sort. When you RSVP, mention if you're going to meet at the carpool location or at the trailhead.
DISTANCE: ~6 miles round trip
ELEVATION GAIN: ~200 ft
TRAIL STYLE: In-and-out style
DURATION: ~4 hours
DOGS: Yes if leashed.
WEBSITE: Forest Service
CARPOOL LOCATION: We'll meet at the McDonald's parking lot at the intersection of Carefree Highway and I17. The address is 3140 W Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ. Park along the wall by the street. We'll leave there by 7:30 am!
DIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD: Follow the Google map link above to Sycamore Canyon Rd / FR 131 near Tuzigoot National Monument and Clarkdale. Continue on Sycamore Canyon Rd for about 7 miles, then make a left onto FR 131 for another 4 miles. The total distance to the trailhead is about 11 miles, and the trailhead coordinates are 34.864, -112.0695. This route is a long dirt road, you should be able to traverse it in a regular car, but high clearance vehicles are preferred (4WD not required). We'll meet at the trailhead at 9:30 am!