DISTANCE
3.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
685 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
3 months ago

Moderate trail best visited during spring when grass in green and wild flowers are in full blossom. We parked near mineral springs area parking lot, pretty much at the end of road. This is paid parking. Once there, we crossed the bridge to get to mineral spring picinc area (towards left) and continued walking past several more picnic areas towards left. The Penetencia trail continues along the Penetencia creek on the left and at one point converts into South rim trail. This is a beautiful, shaded section almost flat until we reach switchbacks which are quite gradual. Once at the top, there are wide open views of the valley and the mountain across which has north rim trail. Until this point, the trail is almost completely shaded. We continued to walk along South rim trail until we reached a fork. We took the path towards right as they go down back. These are Sycamore switchbacks which directly overlook the parking lot and mineral springs area below. The switchbacks are fully exposed to sun with almost no shade. We felt we would have worked our muscles bit harder coming up from here instead. Once down, we just turned left to go back to the parking lot past mineral springs picnic area. We loved this area more since the the mountains were lush green with yellow wild flowers everywhere.