Some trails take you to a beautiful spot hidden from society. Few offer never ending beauty throughout. Parsons not only packs a punch the entire trail, it continuously changes. Thick groves of corel bean and globemallow
among other wildflowers
line the trail.
From the trailhead Sycamore Canyon is inviting you to visit. The trail immediately heads down the canyon wall 180 feet to the creek bottom. Within a few steps pass through a gate
and close it behind you. Little elevation change is encountered after the initial drop. A junction is encountered and you will be taking the right fork to follow up the canyon. The left option crosses the creek and heads up for a long venture over Packard Mesa to Henderson Flat. The trail starts out very sandy just after the junction.
At 1.1 miles Summers Spring
is pumping water next to the trail
. Trees canopy
this area. I saw a red bird of some sort playing in the coverage. This would be a great hike for those looking for a shorter alternative. After the spring the trail cuts across the creek. Huge quarter ton cairns make route finding a breeze. At first I laughed then realized a monsoon rain would wash away anything less. A large rock
lodged in a tree is proof of high currents. After crossing the creek the canyon turns to your left. The creek, although not seen here, loops around and you're actually walking away and towards it at the same time. The trail takes off up a ledge on the left wall and you begin to wonder if you're headed in the right direction. Within steps it angles back down and the canyon bends back
with four foot deep crystal clear water line the path in sections. I saw several small fish. According to the trailhead map you cross the creek five times. I didn't keep count but it seems right. Each crossing has it's own challenges but none to tough. It's not hard to stay dry if that's your thing. I sloshed through the shallow water to cool off. Thick growth covers the running water. Small spiders
are abundant on the rocks and logs. Huge Sacred Datura
wildflowers are amazing. Just stay away as they are poisonous.
A seep crosses the trail. Vegetation is lush including poison ivy! Wild grape ivy dominates throughout the hike. Several small caves
line the canyon walls. A hollowed out tree
almost big enough to walk through is just off the trail. On the last or second to last (I forget) creek crossing, huge red boulders
dot the creek. When the going gets tough the creek ends and it's time to turn around. I couldn't find Parsons Spring. Then again I didn't explore much as 7.4 flat miles isn't my best stride. It was very muddy and the water was cloudy near the point
I turned around.
No camping for 3.7 miles, end of water.