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Parsons Trail #144
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mini location map2012-12-09
49 by photographer avatarjohnny88
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Parsons Trail #144Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 09 2012
johnny88
Hiking8.00 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles   26 Hrs      0.31 mph
600 ft AEG23 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is from an over-nighter I did along Parsons Trail. After briefly getting lost in Cottonwood, my dog and I arrived at the trailhead around 9 AM. Most of the dirt road on the way in was in pretty good shape, but the last few miles were a little rough on my two wheel drive Rav4. Mainly just bumpy, with a couple spots being fairly steep. I wasn't sure where to park, so I just pulled over next to some bushes near the road.

The view from the top of the trailhead was great, and from there, I made the quick descent to the canyon bottom. I found the next half mile or so of the trail to be very pleasant hiking - slow moving bodies of water connected by little streams, all covered with some nice trees. I took my time here. The next few miles would be just as beautiful and would provide more varied hiking. I managed to use a combination of rocks and logs to avoid getting my feet wet during the first 3 stream crossings, but I found no other way than to go straight through on the 4th stream crossing. On this 4th crossing, my dog apparently thought that a bunch of leafs on the still water meant solid ground, so she took the leap for them and fell right through! A short dog paddle brought her to the other side. She seemed so confident in her jump, but once she was out of the water, she looked as though the earth had fallen out from under her.

The final 2 stream crossings were easy, and I found a place to camp shortly afterwards. While the weather during the morning and early afternoon was pleasant and sunny, the wind picked up significantly as soon as I set up camp. The wind was so strong I didn't want to try making a camp fire, and I began to worry about all the trees around where I had set up my tent. I decided some of them looked likely to fall if the wind kept up, so I moved my tent to the safest location I could find, which happened to be right near the water and on a bit of a slope.

The strong winds continued until about 6 pm when I decided to go to sleep. Shortly afterwards, the wind stopped and I'd hardly feel so much as a breeze the rest of the trip. Go figure. Anyway, I must have had a long week at work or something because I slept the entire night (almost 12 hours). I really felt refreshed in the morning and didn't realize how cold it had gotten - my little thermometer recorded a low of 32 degrees in my tent, something my ill-gloved hands would verify as I ate breakfast in the dark while packing up camp. Around first light, I was back on the trail.

Hiking always seems to go the fastest in the morning, and I was back at my car in just a few hours. Overall, the trail was great. There was only one part where I got off track (just before the 2nd stream crossing), and judging by how well-worn the false trail was, it seems like many others have too. Surprisingly, I saw no one the entire time. I would certainly like to come back and hike this trail again, but unless I missed something, I didn't see very many good (and legal) camping spots besides the place I stayed, so I think a hammock would be better here if you're going with a group.
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