The 9 miles of dirt road to the trail head is in pretty good shape, even a sedan could make it...it's just a little rough in the last mile. This canyon is a beauty. Two springs within four miles make it a riparian oasis in the desert. Towering red rock and basalt cliffs form the canyon walls. There are several lovely pools along the way, making this a busy place in warm weather. After you reach Parsons Spring you can continue up the rocky, seasonal stream bed as far as you want.
|View from the trail head. You drop 180 feet into the canyon, then it's pretty easy going up stream.|
|There are several stream crossings.|
|People were swimming here on our way out...the water was pretty cool though!|
|The beauty of each pool we came to just had me sighing with pleasure!|
|Our turn around point was a few hundred yards beyond the spring and into the rocky seasonal stream bed.|
We even loved the dry stream bed...the variety of rocks was amazing!
|One last photo as we made our way back...it's just so darn pretty!|
Sycamore Canyon, above, joins Verde Canyon and the Verde River. We wanted to take the Verde Canyon Railroad trip but were not too interested in the high price tag for first class seats: $79.95/each. So we braved the crazy tourist section of Sedona, found a visitor center offering deeply discounted train tickets ($49.95 for two first class tickets), and sat through a timeshare presentation in order to receive the tickets.
A little painful, but also somewhat interesting because we had passed by Sedona Pines Resort several times and noticed the RV's parked out front but couldn't find any detail on the place. Turns out it is a timeshare resort that offers RV parking to its owners. Anyhow, we didn't buy a timeshare and probably never will...but we did get to ride the train!
Verde Canyon Railroad is a four hour, slow journey on a vintage train for 20 miles up (and back down) the Verde Canyon. First class gives you comfy indoor seats, tasty snacks, beverage service and access to an open air viewing carriage. The train follows the Verde River the whole way and you are likely to see Bald Eagles as well as other large raptors. We saw at least six bald eagles!
We had a great time and I made a very big mistake when we got home...I erased all the photos from my camera without downloading them to my laptop! That's a first...and hopefully the last time that ever happens...that's I what I get for not following my normal routine. And no, alcohol was not a factor! Anyhow, here's a shot from Hans cell phone!
|Verde Canyon Railroad|
The train ride was fun, especially at the rate we paid! We highly recommend the Parsons Trail in Sycamore Canyon for its incredible beauty. The Packard Trail is also accessed at Sycamore Canyon trail head; since it's an exposed hike we'll save that one for another time when the weather is cool.