Parsons Trail

Cottonwood, Arizona

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A rugged, challenging hike through the remote redrock canyons of the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness. Sycamore Creek is normally dry above Parsons Spring. In the spring, seasonal pools above this point make it possible to do this loop without carrying water. During summer and fall, you’ll have to pick up enough water at Parsons Spring for your camp further up the canyon. The catch is that during early spring, Sycamore Creek may be flooding from snow melt in the high country and this loop trip may be impossible. If the creek is running muddy at the trailhead, content yourself with a short day hike to Summers Spring or Parsons Spring. Do not attempt to cross the creek when it is flooding. In summer, this loop is recommended only for hikers experienced at dry camping in hot weather.

Parsons Trail Professional Review and Guide

"A rugged, challenging hike through the remote redrock canyons of the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness. Sycamore Creek is normally dry above Parsons Spring. In the spring, seasonal pools above this point make it possible to do this loop without carrying water. During summer and fall, you’ll have to pick up enough water at Parsons Spring for your camp further up the canyon.

The catch is that during early spring, Sycamore Creek may be flooding from snow melt in the high country and this loop trip may be impossible. If the creek is running muddy at the trailhead, content yourself with a short day hike to Summers Spring or Parsons Spring. Do not attempt to cross the creek when it is flooding. In summer, this loop is recommended only for hikers experienced at dry camping in hot weather."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Cottonwood
Distance: 21.4
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 2 or 3 days
Season: Best spring and fall
Trailhead Elevation: 3,900 feet
Top Elevation: 4,700 feet
Local Contacts: Sedona Ranger District, Coconino National Forest; Chino Valley Ranger District, Prescott National Forest
Local Maps: USGS Clarksdale, Sycamore Basin; Coconino National Forest
Driving Directions: Directions to Parsons Trail

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May 2018