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Sycamore Canyon Rim Loop
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mini location map2013-08-04
19 by photographer avatartrekkin_gecko
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Sycamore Canyon Rim LoopFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 04 2013
trekkin_gecko
Hiking11.76 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking11.76 Miles   6 Hrs   42 Mns   2.47 mph
1,200 ft AEG   1 Hour   56 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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tibber
randy's recommendation of the highland country inn in flagstaff was a good one
clean, reasonable and free coffee :)
started the morning with a large breakfast at denny's
good thing there wasn't going to be much elevation gain on this hike
sycamore canyon rim loop is one of warren's 100 classic hikes, and i've had it on my list for years
easily found the trailhead and set out around 8:15
this area is only 10-15 miles from bill williams mountain, but seems like an entirely different ecosystem
the air was humid, the ground saturated and soft, there was standing water from recent rain, and the stream immediately to the east was flowing
there were plenty of mosquitoes, too :x
we decided to go counterclockwise on the loop, getting the 400-500 feet up KA hill done first
the first three miles or so are a very pleasant walk through the woods, up and over KA hill, then heading mostly west
at about the 3.5 mile mark, we arrived at pomeroy tanks
this small canyon with flowing water and pools would be fun to explore another time, without the mosquitoes : rambo :
from there, the trail crossed a stream several times, following a grassy wash or shallow drainage that opened as we got closer to sycamore falls
didn't see any waterfalls, and perhaps should have gone far enough on the trailhead access to see down the beginning of the canyon
read somewhere that sycamore falls is normally dry
the rim trail goes along the northern edge of sycamore canyon, which deepens quickly on the western end
we saw climbers working routes at paradise forks
had a snack break to watch for awhile
the next few miles of the loop head east, near the canyon rim at times, but often further into the forest skirting a drainage or following an easier line
we made several side trips for canyon views
just as we were becoming a bit disappointed in how little we were seeing of the canyon, the trail came back near the edge again, and the canyon deepened into rock walls instead of being shallow and tree-filled
had lunch with a view somewhere along there
skies were clear enough until this point, but we could see clouds building from the southwest, which put us on task more than usual
turned the corner to go north and found that this portion of the trail was right next to the canyon as it became more shallow
there was a decent amount of flowing water and several small waterfalls, providing numerous photo opportunities
started hearing thunder, but couldn't keep from taking time to peek over the edge
the canyon eventually becomes a stream, and we came to a crossing near dow spring that would have required wading across
i don't remember anyone mentioning this, or maybe there is an unusual amount of water flowing right now because of monsoon storms
we checked the topo and the track, and realized we could stay on the west side of the stream, parallel to the track, and arrive at the trailhead without getting wet
turns out there would have been another stream crossing directly east of the trailhead
didn't see a way around that one, either
the off-trail was rocky, but we knew exactly where we were, and eventually came to forest road 56, which led back to tonto
this was a very pleasant loop, and i would do it again going clockwise for variety and without the mosquitoes
will have to check out paradise forks sometime, too - not sure i'm ready for that
couldn't really loiter much, so we hit the road and took garland prairie road east, instead of 141 north to I-40
nice drive through the prairie, and we saw a huge flock of sheep and later on, three deer
made one stop, then fought a slight delay on I-17 on the way down to the valley
angela, thank you for joining me on this much needed weekend getaway
thanks for driving, too
two stellar hikes in the high country with great company :)

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Pomeroy Tanks 26-50% full 26-50% full
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618 Photosets

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