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Sycamore Canyon Rim Loop
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mini location map2017-08-12
12 by photographer avatarjacobemerick
photographer avatar
 
Sycamore Canyon Rim LoopFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2017
jacobemerick
Hiking15.69 Miles 1,749 AEG
Hiking15.69 Miles   5 Hrs   45 Mns   3.14 mph
1,749 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Prologue
Chris, Kirsty, and I drove up Flagstaff-direction for the infamous summer HAZfest, arriving at the camp in the late afternoon. Got set up, met some cool people, and eventually hit the rack sometime after midnight. Woke up with the sunrise and was greeted by the local friendly horse herd before getting a ride over to Sycamore Falls Trailhead. Felt weird to start a hike in the daylight.


Before the loop proper started I just had to check out Paradise Forks. It looked cool. Followed the cut around and started on the loop counter-clockwise, mostly because the canyon looked so darn awesome. Sky was clear, views were big, and I only passed two groups for the first half of the hike. Also, humidity was high and mosquitoes were biting, so that was neat. Ran out of bug spray before Double Tanks (started with less than a quarter ounce). And the trail was quite muddy, causing a few slips along the way.

The trail shifted from epic views over a huge canyon to a more intimate setting along or in a narrow canyon, which was a pleasant change. There was also a break near Dow Spring where Garland Prairie intrudes on the pine forest. The climb up KA Hill started slow and got serious for the second half. Found a good view towards a shrouded San Francisco Peaks beyond the signed top of KA. That summit was an option for today, glad I went with this loop instead.

Bumped into Steve and Pam on the descent who were doing the loop the other way (and would end up having a way more epic time at it). After that the trail got kinda lame, going through a logging area and all. Pomeroy Tanks was okay. Humidity was getting to me by now and dreams of napping in my hammock was dancing through my head. Finished the loop and remembered that I didn't have a ride back to camp. Sunflower Flat seemed like an interesting name, so I cut a diagonal in a general southern direction and skipped the road hike. Got a gnarly cramp jumping over a fence and took a forced break by the flat, finishing off the last of my water and some peanuts before finding an old two-track that led me most of the way back to camp.

Epilogue
The promised nap never materialized, as a monsoon hit a short time later. My tarp is comically undersized and both of my quilts, plus hammock, were drenched. After debating options with my co-travelers were decided to drive back to Phoenix that night instead of staying through Sunday. Even with the shortened weekend, and a terrifying drive down I-17, it was still a fantastic outing. Great to put some faces to HAZ usernames.
Named place
Named place
Isham Spring Canyon Sunflower Flat

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Double Tanks 76-100% full 76-100% full
Only saw lower tank. It was brown.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Dow Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Isham Spring Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Decent flow into the large trailside pools.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 L O Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pomeroy Tanks 51-75% full 51-75% full
Trail was flooded in several locations.
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