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Nice moderate uphill hike, quite craggy. The final ¼ mile up to the peak is just as the signs indicate, narrow and steep, but not overly so. I'm a flip flop hiker and had no issues ascending or descending. Great shade spot on the peak for a quick break if extending this trail to Lost Dog Wash (nice easygoing extension). Also, keep an eye out for the larger lizards just a little before the first landing. Overall a nice hike.

So this hike I’ve been on several times growing up and definitely a hike to go on in the late winter or spring to see the waterfalls. Which in the past have seen up to three climaxing with the third in the canyon. I enjoy the difficulty especially because it keeps it relatively quiet of lazy hikers and people who leave trash behind. They seem to avoid harder trails which is great for the rest of us. Beautiful views and water keeps me coming back every year!

It is actually beautiful. I went this am, late start. Turned around after a bit. On trail 45 min. Came back to my car & rear window smashed. Items stolen from car. Police said several cars were hit. At sunrise & another trailhead.

Really too bad

hiking
13 days ago

This is a challenging hike, all downhill thru the canyon, lots of bolder hopping. At the end of Roger's trough, where it meets Frog Tanks Trail #112 there are indian ruins up the hill (off trail to the NE) a short distance. And then it's 4 miles up hill 1200' all the way back to the car. Too old for this anymore!!! Last time I did it I was 72 and that was in 2011

If you leave early enough, you will be shaded by the canyon for most of the hike. We started a little after 6am and it was shaded the whole way there—however, the sun had risen over the canyon by the time we were heading back. We stayed at the falls for a bit. There was plenty of water running through them—beautiful—some people were even jumping in! Try to stay on the trail by paying attention to trail markers, it’s easy to miss them when you get to the riverbed.

Beautiful canyon on the way in and really nice views from the top. I saw 5 other hikers on my hike that started at 5 PM on Friday afternoon. 75% of the way was shaded and a nice breeze was blowing which brought the temp down 10 degrees or so from 108 when I started out. The 1000' foot climb up is a lot easier than comparable hikes around the valley.

Beautiful mountains and wonderful “ side trails”

A wonderful, moderately difficult, non-technical hike so close to Scottsdale! We started at 5am and caught the sunrise on our way up - the views from the top are incredible. Highly recommended.

Worth the trip. Very well maintained trails. Beautiful!

I loved this trail! There wasn’t much water when I went so I’ll definitely be going again. A lot of flat hiking then a lot of incline towards the end.

Love this trail and it''s not as traffic as other trails I go to.

It was hard, but amazing views and at the end the Seven Falls!

Like this Trail, best to get an early start this time of year. A lot of the Trail is vertical inclines. Good workout!

hiking
28 days ago

This is probably a nice hike in the spring, but in mid July it was hot, brown and dry. I enjoyed the 4-mile dirt road with cattle and huge jackrabbits. Approximately 1/3rd of the hike is rocky/gravely. I encountered 2 rattlesnakes on the trail. The “waterfall” at 2.5 miles still offered small pools of water (possibly from the monsoon storm the previous day) and barely a trickle down the rock formation, which is quite scenic. Follow the creek bed upward and off the trail, just around the corner, for some really scenic, shady respite. Back on the trail after this highlight is fairly flat and monotonous. I turned around at 3.9 miles because of the heat and unchanging, flat terrain. Elevation gain was 3670 ft. My hike started at 7:40 am after an easy 90 min drive from Phoenix and took 4 hrs 15 min including a couple short breaks. I drank 3 of the 4 liters I brought. Sunscreen is a must. Wish I had had some bug spray, too. Only saw 2 other hikers. The only thing “difficult” about the hike was the elements (heat, humidity, rattlesnakes). The incline and path is moderate at best. I was surprised that the temp was about 10 degrees hotter than that in Payson.

The full Parsons trail is long but beautiful. Pace yourself and take plenty of water (a filter is ideal so you can refill). There are some places where the trail has washed out or crosses a rock field; take the time to make cairns. Most of all enjoy the beautiful scenery!

Went out today for an afternoon hike. The trail is in great shape. There was a lot of water today. We were able to swim at the pools at the falls. Lots of frogs and lizards on the trail today.

Nice terrain and inclines. Amazing views, worth it for sunrise. Got there at 4:55 on a Saturday to 1 other cars. Full parking lot by the time we left

Awesome refreshing swim at the top! Can’t beat it!

Amazing views throughout, but a bit of an anti-climatic view at the end unless you decide to continue on the Mazatzal trail. Saw 2 bobcats, a tarantula, and several hummingbirds. Also note: this trail is not 10.2 miles like it says. We clocked 13 miles round trip. So if you do this, plan for a longer trip. First 3.3 miles were most difficult, but then it levels out. I would rate the first half of the trip as hard but the second half after the waterfall as moderate. The waterfall was dried up when we got there. Gravely at some points where you want to be careful with your footing. We didn’t see anyone else on the trail. I recommend starting early in the day before it gets too hot.

hiking
1 month ago

The figure "8" on the map is relatively flat. The climb is in a ravine and can be easy to miss. It is marked by a post that (today) had whatever marking that was on it torn off. It was simply a post. In short, look for the second post then turn right. The vertical portion is a descent out-and-back climb with a lot of switchbacks. Be careful on your way down. I almost took a 50' dive because I didn't pick my feet up high enough on one switchback. It can be easy to get "lost" on the back side of the apex. Beautiful 360 degree view from the apex of Phoenix and to the south. only saw 2 people on Young Man portion of the trail. Lots of mountain bikers on Desert Classic. Enjoy!

Awesome trail! I went at 6pm and saw a total of 5 people there and back. Great scenery in all directions!

Just completed this trail 6/9/18, and it's a great moderate trail with beautiful scenery.

First off, play attention to the stack of rocks on the trail. (guidance rocks)

Secondly, the road to get the trail is pavement/dirt road. As a Offroading hobbiest *You DO NOT need a 4wd or Awd vehicle*; took a Honda Civic and no problem. If you have driven to Fossil Creek, it is alot less bumpier than that.
Moreover, the trail has a few swimming spots, the first 1.5 mile you will see spots to cliff jump and relax. We were told by several people the trail ended a mile after, boy they where wrong. We ran into *a boulder where the dirt trail ends* what they didn't notice was the trail veers off to the right.
Once you follow the trail you will cross small creek beds. At one river bed you will find a pile of rocks on the other side to guide you. You will find small cave holes, stagnant water spots, and great views of rock deformation.

At the end of the trail you will find a beautiful Oasis. The water is clear with small turtles, fish and crawdads.
*Warning* the rocks are very slippery even with water shoes, take it slow going down as the rocks in the water a covered with light moss.
Enjoy and whatever you pack it in, pack it out!

Great swimming hole about 1.5 miles in on the trail. Took young kids with us and they did fine. Take plenty of water and decent hiking shoes. 4wd vehicle is not needed to get to trail head.

trail running
1 month ago

This was a fun trail. A little daunting driving past the cattle (including bulls) and human-sized jackrabbits on the 4 mile dirt road on the way in, but fewer animals on the actual trail. We drove a sport sedan, so you don’t need an SUV. The beginning of the trail was a little rocky, but it cleared out and you could get a nice pace. The switchbacks have shade cover if you get an early enough start. We started 8 am. 2L water was sufficient for just over 11 miles. The backside was even nicer for running, but after 5.6 miles out I never saw the intersection with the AZ Trail. I assumed I would since this is marked as an Out and Back, but I may have misunderstood. No water on the waterfalls in Late June.

This was a good hike, not to hard, great workout.

Nice hike for family. Great lunch spot at the falls.

Pretty descent hike. Overall I wouldn’t rate this trail as difficult, the last part of the hike going from the base of the mountain up to the top plateau is somewhat strenuous but I would consider 75% of the trail to only be moderate not difficult. Scenery wise, it’s ok, typical desert scenery. I did like the fact that past the first mile I saw no one. To avoid wandering around trying to figure out what direction you need to go to find the trail use the satellite map on the all trails app. It didn’t occur to me to do this until after I had went the wrong direction for about a mile. After parking continue to walk down the road to the area where the portable restrooms are. They will be on your right. Continue to walk straight down the road toward spur cross trail - do not go left- you will pass 2 other trailheads on your right, just continue going straight. You will stay on this road/trail for awhile until you eventually see an old cow pen on your left. Their will be a river bed on your right. The trail to the right is the one you want to follow. If you end up going through a gated area with the cow pen on your left you went the wrong way. You will eventually see a large older sign that has several trails listed on it. At the sign go to the right. You will continue on this trail which was listed as cottonwood trail, you will not actually see a sign that says skull Mesa trail for a number of miles. You will eventually see it on your left. Pay attention to make sure you stay on skull Mesa trail. It is not well taken care of and only rockpiles keep you on track. From almost the start of the skull Mesa trail you will be going uphill. Eventually you will find yourself at the base of the mountain. The trail switchbacks up this mountain up to the top. Be mindful of weather reports. I disregarded them and ended up wading back across the flooded river beds that had been bone dry only hours earlier. After finally getting back to my truck the main road was flooded out and had a line of cars. I did find out from a very nice girl that morning star road was a bypass road and not flooded to the point that it was impassable. If you find yourself in the same situation try Morningstar road. It’s much better to pay attention to the weather and not get into the situation to begin with. I hope this long winded run on review helps.

I’ve just recently started hiking so this trail was definitely challenging for me. A friend and I made it to the falls area 05/20/18. I wanted to quit a few times along the way.

We started our hike at 5:15 am and arrived back to the vehicle by 10:00 am. I drank 3 liters of water.

I am so thankful to all of the strangers that passed by picking up on my “quitter” vibe and offered such encouraging lies such as, “You’re almost there!”, “Oh so close, don’t stop!”, and my favorite, “It’s just around the bend.”, all the while we still had no less than a mile + left.
If not for your push I quite possibly would have quit. That hike was so important to me as it was the one year anniversary to of my brother’s passing. I had to make it to the end and back.

The view is beautiful. The trail is rocky and rough at times. Wear good hiking shoes/boots rather than running shoes if you have weak ankles or are a beginner hiker. My legs were so PO at me by the time i had started back down the trail that they absolutely refused to pick my feet up so I stubbed my toes and tripped a lot going down. So thankful no one knew my name as I’m pretty sure I looked like I was coming off of a binger at the last stretch to the trailhead.

Will definitely do this one again.

Great trail. Moderately hard. Longer than 3.6 miles. Both people in my party clocked it at 4.6 miles round trip. Steep the last part to the peak. Would love to do this trail again. Highly recommend, nice views.

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