Arizona Hiking Gallery
Parsons Spring Hike
Sycamore Canyon Wilderness, AZ
May 27, 2007
Gallery contains 43 photos
Gallery last updated: 6/19/2007

The Parsons Spring hike starts at the southern end of Sycamore Canyon Wilderness near Clarkdale, Arizona and follows the Parsons Trail for about 3.7 miles up Sycamore Canyon along Sycamore Creek to Parsons Spring. Sycamore Creek is a perennial stream fed by Summers Spring and Parsons Spring and supports a lush riparian habitat.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 1
The floor of Sycamore Canyon hosts a lush, green riparian habitat as seen in this view looking north up the canyon at the start of the hike.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 2
Looking down into the greenery of the canyon.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 3
The rich green of the canyon floor contrasts sharply with the dry hot dry canyon walls.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 4
On this hike we'll follow the Parson's Trail along Sycamore Creek to Parson's Spring.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 5
Several large Cottonwoods (Populus fremontii) line the trail.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 6
Close up of the bark of a Cottonwood.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 7
Peering through the cottonwoods to the red cliffs beyond.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 8
Trailing Four O'Clock (Allionia incarnata) with it's leaves covered in layer of dirt from the dusty trail. At first glance this looks like a single flower, but look closely any you'll notice that it is actually composed of three flowers.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 9
Catkins of Velvet Mesquite (Prosopis velutina).

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 10
Wait-A-Minute Bush (Mimosa biuncifera) also known as cat claw for its claw like thorns.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 11
Lots of Canyon Grape (Vitis arizonica) vines were seen along the trail.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 12


Parsons Spring Hike: Image 13


Parsons Spring Hike: Image 14
A hunk a basalt.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 15
Summers Spring, one of two springs that feed into Sycamore Creek.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 16
A blue California Dancer Damselfly (Argia agrioides) rests on a plant at Summers Spring.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 17
Yellow Columbine and other water loving plants line the banks near Summers Spring.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 18
The source of Summers Srping.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 19
Sycamore Creek.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 20
Sycamore Creek.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 21
Cliffs of columnar basalt.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 22
Swallow nests on an overhanging cliff.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 23
A large Ornate Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus) sunning on a rock and giving me the "evil eye".

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 24
The Parsons Trail follows along a rock ledge.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 25
Parsons Trail traverses a rock ledge above a pool in Sycamore Creek.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 26
The trails passes right up against tall canyon walls in the shade of a Boxelder (Acer negundo) tree.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 27
Somehow this Arizona Sycamore is still alive and standing.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 28
The trail passes above this large muddy pool in Sycamore Creek along a rock ledge.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 29
Looking upstream at the "green waters" at one of several creek crossing.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 30
A trio of Parry's Agave (Agave parryi) stalks reach for the sky.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 31
Parry's Agave stalks towering over the surrounding vegetation.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 32
The red buds of this Parry's Agave are just beginning to open to reveal yellow flowers.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 33
Parry's Agave.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 34
Interesting patterns on the limb of this juniper.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 35
Large red boulders lining at a crossing of Sycamore Creek

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 36
A thick carpet of White Watercress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum) floating in the creek.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 37
Seeing green! Just below Parsons Spring we came across this large pool completely covered with a green aquatic plant or algae and a thick green canopy of trees above.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 38
Green shady pool.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 39
Another green pool.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 40
Sycamore Creek.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 41
Red cliff walls of Sycamore Canyon.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 42
Clark's Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus clarkii) hanging out on a juniper trunk.

Parsons Spring Hike: Image 43
The green of the canyon just as the trail starts its climb back to the trailhead.

All images Copyright ©2007 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.