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Sycamore Canyon Rim Loop
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mini location map2013-08-04
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Sycamore Canyon Rim LoopFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 04 2013
Hiking11.78 Miles 1,215 AEG
Hiking11.78 Miles   6 Hrs   42 Mns   2.51 mph
1,215 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Let's see how well I remember this second hike of our 2-part weekend in the Flagstaff area. We started out with a so-so breakfast at Not-Flat Denny's before our drive out to Sycamore Canyon. The dirt road was pretty nice as Kelly navigated us to the TH. It was already a little toasty and the bugs and skeeters were out too.

We geared up and started hiking in the forest at a slight incline toward the infamous KA Hill. My legs seemed a bit weary from the Bill Williams hike the day before but I think the uphill might have had something to do with that feeling. Had to get my poles out to get myself up : rambo : what was really not that big of hill. A mile later we were more or less at the ridgeline's top despite what the sign toward the beginning that said 1 1/2 miles to KA Hill.

From there we continued in the forest working our way around OR over deadfall or as Kelly called it, "the easy way or the hard way" :lol: and you know which way I ALWAYS chose. We walked thru the forest a couple more miles and crossed a couple forest roads before getting to the area we thot might be the Pomeroy Tanks. However, it was too early for that. This area (Isham Spring Cany?) was really cool with the rock laden landscape and big pond of water. We were fascinated by it.

We saw a sign that said we had a little ways to go yet until we got to the Pomeroy Tanks. We were pretty much enthralled for a good portion of the hike from here. Getting to the Tanks was pretty cool really. Other than the bugs, there was lots to enjoy including rockery with curves, wildflowers and water of course. There had been a lot of rain in the area as we had to gingerly avoid getting our feet wet by walking off the normal path that was filled with water in certain areas or where the water had risen to leave little trail.

From there it was over to the start of the canyon. Once again you were back more in the forest and in and out of a wide drainage. We finally reached the canyon and of course made our way to the edge first thing. Looking over it I could see a big pool of water and a big dead tree trunk across it. It was massive and the angle made it difficult to get a picture of. We didn't hear any water running so I assume any falls in the area were mostly dry.

As I looked over to the north I saw a backpack or climbing stuff. Kelly had already made it over to that edge and then we spotted two climbers. I immediately started filming and got some good action :) as the climber couldn't quite grab his hold. I don't know if he eventually did as we continued on our way. We could hear other people and once we got around this one area, we could see others arriving at what apparently is a popular climbing area. The name I remember is Paradise Forks.

We spotted a girl and guy climbing up an edge so we decided to have our snack while watching them. I did some more filming but sometimes with climbers, it gets a bid tiring holding up the camera as they re-try getting up an area due to resting in-between. Nonetheless it was fun to see how they did as even more climbers would show up on that side of the canyon. From here we had to try and find our way back to the trail :-k . After a few minutes we finally stumbled on it and hiked higher and away from the canyon. It seemed we were going around a finger and then would be back at the canyon.

Interestingly this canyon is mostly tree-filled. I like the rocky ones better. But this was still pretty and if you looked across the way you would be treated to pretty meadows next to that side. It would get breezy and then not as we would walk near the rim and then away from it. This one section we went quite a way before we got back to the Rim area again and even the the views were fleeting unless you walked over to the edge.

We got close to where the sign was for the Sycamore Canyon overview when Kelly finally found us a nice place to have lunch with some shade and a little view too (better than from the overlook area). From there we seemed to hike around another finger that had a drainage with some water in it... and decent looking water. Just after this was a big sign that said you are here. Not sure but I think we only had about 4 miles or so left.

We were now back away from the Rim again but it was kind of a cool area topographically speaking. We eventually got back to the Rim with some very cool views as it wrapped around a corner. From here there were several areas that would draw our eye and therefore our feet. Soon we would hear water flowing and falling and then walk to the edge where we saw large pools of water :DANCE: . Even as the weather was threatening, we just couldn't help ourselves and lingered at various places along the way. I know if it hadn't been thundering, we would have hung around a couple of these edges a little longer.

We walked down to this one edge as we spotted a waterfall further up. We both knew we wanted to get closer to that. In fact, Kelly went down a bit to see if there was a way for us to cross to the other side. As it turns out, when we finally did get to that waterfall, it was much prettier from the distance.

The thunder continued and the skies got darker so we hustled on. We went in and away from the stream as we left the canyon area. We did encounter a family and wondered how they had come this way since we would soon discover the trail crossing at the stream had nearly thigh high :o water to cross with slippery looking big rocks. We still had a few more marshy areas and pools to walk by before here but once we saw where the trail went and surveyed the situation, Kelly got out her GPS and the map and decided we would just head up stream above the stream.

So off trail we went and this wasn't easy either as it was every foot for itself. The terrain was rather rocky. I think it is here where Kelly first spotted a blue heron. I would see it the second time as it continued to fly upstream every time it thot we were too close for comfort. Occasionally we would get close to the stream and from above we would look to see if there might be a place to cross :-k . Two issues, how to get down and then the marshy watery area to cross seemed rather difficult. As it would turn out, we would have had to cross the water again to get to the TH so staying high and dry was the right choice.

Kelly said we probably were about 1/4 mile from eventually getting to the road and she was pretty much right on. I was sure glad to get back to the road. Enough with that rough terrain. And before you knew it, we finally got back to Tonto. I always try whistling when we get within 1/4 mile but somehow Tonto never hears me to come get us ;) . Once we were there, Kelly went out the trail to see if we could have crossed but she said we would have had to go through water.

Needless to say :thanx: Kelly for understanding the layout of the land here and being able to match the GPS route up with the map. It was a perfect. We felt lucky that we didn't get rained on. Our luck would continue as we decided to drive out a different way than we came in. We ended up on Garland Prairie Road where we had to pull over to photograph a rather large herd of sheep. What fun :D . Later on the road as we got close to the freeway, Kelly even got a couple photos of some deer.

We stopped at Bellemont to get an early dinner before heading home where we did encounter a large traffic delay out of Cordes Junc. We considered ourselves lucky though as at least the traffic never came to a complete stop. We never did see what was holding up the traffic. :thanx: Kelly for coming up with a great weekend plan. It was perfect.

ya, I know "really Angela" "four videos". Well I did spend a lot of time filming climbers and of course, we hit the water at the end and you know how we desert rats are when it comes to water :) . to Pomeroy Tanks to Sycamore Falls area and climber action to Sycamore Creek area along the stream and some sheep on Garland Prairie
Western Bistort
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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