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Parsons Trail along Sycamore Canyon is a 7.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Clarkdale, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 7.3 mi Elevation gain 810 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Camping

Fishing

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Cave

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Please be aware that the river may be too deep to cross after recent rainfall. Note: A high clearance/4WD or AWD is required to access this trail.

Arizona Office of Tourism, 2702 N. 3rd St., Suite 4015 , Phoenix, AZ, 85004, Phone: 888-520-3434, Fax: 602-240-5432, mfioritt@pni.com

Directions from Flagstaff: Drive 65 miles south from Flagstaff on US 89A through Sedona to Cottonwood. In Cottonwood, at the intersection of US 89A and South Main Street, go straight onto South Main (US 89A goes left at the intersection's traffic light). Follow this road 4 miles (it becomes North Main, then South Broadway) then turn right onto the turnoff for Tuzigoot National Monument. Just across the Verde River, turn left onto Sycamore Canyon Road. Follow this for 4.6 miles. It then becomes FR 131. Follow this dirt road another 5.4 miles to the trailhead parking lot.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (303)
Photos (393)
Recordings (206)
Completed (470)
Baylee Kite
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
Hiking

Awesome trail. Not as crowded as we were expecting on 8/7/20 which was a Thursday. As stated below when you have a hard time following the trail look for man made rock stacks. Lots of cool little caves within the rocks to peek into. We saw what we believe was a Mohave Green on our way out. Had we not been paying attention we wouldn’t have known he was even there as he was tucked up under the rock ledge. Plenty of spots close enough to the river to take a quick dip when you get warm and want a break. As always bring lots of water and snacks.

Michelle Richardson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2020
HikingGreat!
Justin Kraft
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Getting there requires several miles on a dirt road, recommend taking a SUV or truck for it is a bumpy ride. The trail isn't tough, just long if you make it to the end. Bring lots of water if you hike it in the summer. I would hike it again.

Eric And Sam Lavelle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 27, 2020
Backpacking

great hike, pretty well marked, when in doubt just look for man made rock towers.there are river cross overs with some stepping rocks. water was pretty merky but a local said it gets like that for a few days after rain. there were some real clear spots as well. we went about 5 miles in set up camp and left the next day. there are a few camp sites right past the able to camp sign. it is an 8 mile dirt road drive to get to tue trail head, we saw some small cars parked but I would recommend an all wheel vehicle

David Devore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 26, 2020

took my cavalier here where there's a will there's a way

Jay Krich
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 26, 2020
Backpacking

Great easy hike with several areas for swimming. Hiked in about 4.5 miles, then back about a mile to set up camp at a very nice and clear section of the creek to cool down with a brief swim. Great spot to avoid the majority of people doing day hikes / swimming as almost everyone we encountered stop at the first and second swimming holes. Just FYI, the water was pretty dark from dirt runoff but crystal clear at the end. This section of the creek had small fish, crawdads and a small turtle. Nice place to bring your kiddos if they can stay focused for 4 miles-ish.

Eric Krich
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2020
HikingRocky

Amazing hike. Went 4 miles back and camped overnight where the water is clear and the swimming was refreshing. definitely follow the trail markets if you go all the way back to keep your beating. Easy hike most of the way with some river rock hiking towards the end.

View Eric's Recording
Dylan Jung
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 24, 2020
Hiking

Use a high clearance vehicle to travel 20 minutes to the trailhead. Don’t venture too far off the main dirt road, as there are private residences. Once at the trailhead, it’s a short hike to get to the water. More water spots can be found further up the trail. Make sure you have ample water and snacks for the hike in and back.

Megan Gerard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2020
Hiking

Amazing but water was muddy from rain

View Megan's Recording
Todd Colantonio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2020
Hiking

This is a great hike with a great swim hole at the half way point. Most don’t go past the swim hole as it is not marked well because so few people complete it. Just under 2 miles out and 2 miles back. Almost everyone can do this hike. There are a few points to cross the river. Most of path is marked well. You definitely should use off road vehicle if you can. Even my F150 was a slow drive to save suspension. Enjoy!!

Alaina Vargas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2020
Hiking

Hiked this on Sunday, July 12th. This has become one of my favorite trails. To get to the trailhead you will want a high clearance vehicle. The dirt road gets pretty rocky/bumpy the last mile to the trail. We took a Tacoma TRD Off Road (I’m sure my Corolla would not have been able to make it). The first watering hole is 1.2 miles in. That is where most people stop to swim and stay rather than finishing the hike. It’s beautiful and the water is deep enough to cliff jump in. There were several groups of hikers/families at the watering hole so keep that in mind if you want something more “secluded.” If you do continue the trail, there will be some water crossings you’ll have to do (the sign at the trailhead says 6 water crossings, but you cross one in the first 1.2 mile). Closer to the end of the trail the path narrows and you may scrape your legs/arms on the bushes if you wear shorts/tank top. I’ll forewarn you that there are rattlesnakes on this trail, so watch your step. I almost stepped on one when I approached one of the river crossings. Also, we did not finish the trail because about a quarter mile before the end, an animal was growling at us from the bushes. We were not sure what kind of animal since we did not stick around to find out. Please bring lots of water if you plan to do the hike during summer, as well as good water shoes. We were stopped by search and rescue because someone was lost/needed help. The trail is pretty well marked for the most part, but some spots can get confusing so I can see how someone may get lost. Overall, I would definitely do the hike again and hopefully finish it next time. It’s scenic and lots of good photo opportunities.

Morgan Chacon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 9, 2020
Hiking

Hiked with a few friends. We started the hike at 1:30, got to the creek at around 2:30. We left after 4 to beat the heat. Super fun and easy. We did the whole thing in chacos and Tevas. The incline at the end is maybe .10 miles so it wasn’t bad.

Jenelle Lake
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 7, 2020
RockyScramble

Hiked with family on 5.09.20. descent into canyon can be a little tricky. the hike is beautiful along the river. even at times when you cannot see it. some slight route finding before getting to main water hole at the end. bring LOTS of water! go early because it gets packed this time of the year.

Westen W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 23, 2020
Hiking

A great little creek that flows year round thanks to the spring. The swimming hole is excellent and provides some fun cliff jumps, too. Road is pretty bumpy, but passable by car, if you take your time. Sights and creek are even more excellent above the swimming hole.

Anna Scott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 22, 2020
Hiking

It was absolutely beautiful in early June. Warm enough midday to be happy to jump in the river that most of the trail follows with some great swimming holes. The spring at the end is almost not worth the last 1 1/2 mile... the great views are at the first and second swimming hole.

David Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 22, 2020
Hiking

Any time you have water in the desert, it gets a 5. As for the road in, do NOT be reluctant. The people that commented that you need high clearance must not have ever been on a high clearance road. SMH This dirt road appears to be county maintained. The description should be ... the last five miles are unpaved. There are exactly 4 rocks to avoid and the road is wide enough for 2 cars. If you bottom out, you were going too fast. You must be the guy that hits the driveway to the gas station at 20 mph. I did 11-15 mph in. There were 3 times I slowed to 7 and 2 times I slowed to three. If your car runs, it will make it. Fun Fact: If you go 2 mph it’s impossible to bottom out even IF you go over those 4 (avoidable) rocks. I went at 3:30, so I had total shade on the hike out.

Jack B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 20, 2020
Hiking

Quite hot after 9am, and there were a lot of people at the swimming holes... A lot of the water was also quite green with algae. The beginning of the trail (after the initial 1/4 mile descent) has some pretty greenery and is well shaded though. Also, be warned, the 1/4 mile descent is quite steep. After the first 1-1.5 miles the shade starts to disappear and the trail is a little boring. The first swimming hole was the largest by far. For the drive to the trailhead, I'd recommend a high clearance vehicle.

Sierra Preble
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 20, 2020
Hiking

Went on a Saturday- too many people, hot, not a lot of water!

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Kitzie Cribbs
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2020
HikingOver grownRockyScramble

Beautiful trail, has streams of water throughout the trail, marked well with cairns helped a few times direct us. Sand, loose rocks and dirt with a few places you have to walk across the stream. Very peaceful early in the morning but around 11 when heading out the trail got busy and people where hanging out in one section and cliff jumping.

View Kitzie's Recording
bob mengel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 10, 2020
Backpacking

nice hike after the first swimming hole. a lot changed since the last trip

Kristina Bhasin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 7, 2020
Hiking

This was a awesome trail. Very shady. We went in the middle of the day and had no problems. Very family friendly. Everyone stops at the first pool which is 1.7 miles in but if you keep going there are some great site. First pool is pretty deep and there is some good cliff jumping. Water is nice and cool and clear.

keira leshinskie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 2, 2020
Hiking

This trail was my all time favorite. The drive there was awful, but that may have been just because I get carsick and was riding in an infinity suv. I crossed many cool streams, creeks, and rivers. The trees and plants were so green and beautiful. I only went to the first swimming hole, and apparently there are more. I went in May, and the water was a little chilly, but refreshing. The surrounding rock structure was stunning.

McKennah Thomas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 1, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful. We only did about half the trail and just stopped and swam.

View McKennah's Recording
Kate Naunheim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 30, 2020
Hiking

True story. On the way out on this trail, my boyfriend threw a rock into one of the caves about 2 miles in. “Careful, you’ll hit Bigfoot” I laughed (who’s rumored to live in Sycamore Canyon). On the way back, 1 mile from the trailhead, we heard growling from the cavern system. And two rocks were thrown at us. Lesson learned. Don’t throw rocks at Bigfoot.

View Kate's Recording
M C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 28, 2020
Hiking

This was my second time doing this hike. The drive to the trail is fairly easy, the last few miles are washboard dirt road and the last half-ish mile has some good size divots from being washed out in the rain, but as long as you take it slowly there is no need for a lifted car. The Trail was fairly easy with a relatively gentle grade. There were quite a lot of people swimming and making a lot of noise at the first swimming hole, but past that the trail was mostly quiet. Past the camping permitted sign the trail was poorly maintained and was fairly overgrown. There is a final swimming hole past that sign, but the sights themselves were not worth the pokes of the acacias and oak scrub. Overall the hike is pretty and, especially towards the beginning, offers a lot of places to stop along the creek and take a rest.

Mary Dafoe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 25, 2020
HikingRocky

Great day full of adventure, lots of shade and places to soak your feet or go for a swim. Bring plenty of water. Watch for the trail markings, because some of them can be confusing. Also wear good hiking shoes, lots of river rocks to cross on. Great day. Hardest part the last 1/4 mile back to my truck, very hard incline.

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