Arizona Hiking Gallery
Sandys Canyon Trail Hike
Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff, AZ
August 2, 2009
Gallery contains 72 photos
Gallery last updated: 8/29/2009
Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 1
The trail starts in a meadow ringed by Ponderosa Pines.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 2
As the trail nears the edge of Sandys Canyon the cliffs on the northern side of the canyon come into view.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 3
Across a lava boulder field and above the forest trees the San Francisco Peaks make a brief appearance.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 4
A view of the large jumbled lava boulder field tumbling into the canyon Sandys Canyon.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 5
Ponderosas line the edge of the lava boulder field while the canyon cliffs rise above them.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 6
Western Yarrow (Achillea millefolium).

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 7
A few Aspen trees growing among the lava boulders.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 8
A first I thought this was a bee. But it is actually a fly feeding on a thistle. Probably one the strangest looking fly I've seen.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 9
The fly, which doesn't have a common name, is in the family of flies called Tachinid, so we'll just call him a Tachinid Fly (Adejeania vexatrix).

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 10
Two Tachinid Flies (Adejeania vexatrix) feeding on the nectar of a White Prairie Clover (Dalea candida) flower.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 11
I spent a good amount of time watching and photographing this Greater Short-Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi). Here he is standing tall showing off his gorgeous orange coloring on his neck and legs.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 12
A handsome Greater Short-Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi).

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 13
This Greater Short-Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi) was not shy at all and climbed over boots and jeans.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 14
Greater Short-Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi).

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 15
Greater Short-Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi).

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 16
A smiling Greater Short-Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi).

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 17
This is probably Narrowleaf Penstemon (Penstemon linarioides), but don't hold me to it.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 18
A view of Sandys Canyon Trail.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 19
Bergamont (Monarda menthaefolia), also known as horsemint or beebalm.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 20
A view across Sandys Canyon.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 21
Golden-beard Penstemon (Penstemon barbatus).

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 22
New Mexico Checkermallow (Sidalcea neomexicana).

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 23
A bright flash of yellow from Calliopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria). Note the distinctive red near the base of the petals.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 24
I usually think of globemallow as a desert plant, but Littleleaf Globemallow (Sphaeralcea parvifolia) makes its living at an elevation from about 4000ft to 7000ft.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 25
Scarlet Gaura (Gaura coccinea).

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 26
Scarlet Gaura (Gaura coccinea).

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 27
A Wild Geranium (Geranium caespitosum) flower hosting a party of ants.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 28
Cinquefoil (Potentilla sp.)

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 29
The trail is marked with new trail signs.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 30
A stump is all that remains of this tree.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 31
Views of Mount Elden appear as the trail heads north.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 32
Broom Groundsel (Senecio spartioides).

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 33
Billowing white clouds form in the afternoon contrasting against the dark green of the forest slopes.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 34
The flowers of New Mexico Vervain (Verbena macdougalii) appear at the bottom of the flower stalk first and work toward the top. So these blooms must be just about done.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 35
The tail passes a meadow tinted yellow with Calliopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria).

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 36
Calliopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria) brighten a meadow with a splash of yellow.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 37
Meadow with Calliopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria).

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 38
A beautiful Rocky Mountain Bee Plant (Cleome serrulata).

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 39
The leaf of the Rocky Mountain Bee Plant (Cleome serrulata).

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 40
Evidence of wildlife using the meadow.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 41
Rocky Mountain Bee Plant (Cleome serrulata).

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 42
Evidence of wildlife using the meadow.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 43
Just before the trail enters the narrows of Walnut Canyon fantastic sandstone cliffs appear.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 44
There is a cave at the bottom of the cliffs.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 45
The sandstone walls have wonderful cross-hatchings and texture.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 46
Sandstone cliffs.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 47
Sandstone cliffs.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 48
Sandstone cliffs.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 49
Sandstone cliffs.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 50
Closeup of the cliff walls shows layers of tilted and eroded sandstone covered by newer layers of sandstone.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 51
The sandstone cliffs meet with the canyon floor in ebbs and flows.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 52
Caption for IMG_8346

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 53
Closeup of the sandstone walls.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 54
Details of sandstone cliffs.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 55
Sandstone cliffs.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 56
Sandstone cliffs appear to flow out to the canyon floor.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 57
The green leaves of a solitary tree contrasts against the sandstone cliffs.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 58
Closeup of patterns on the sandstone cliffs.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 59
Wonderful patterns on the sandstone cliffs.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 60
Sandstone cliffs.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 61
The sandstone cliffs viewed from across a meadow on the canyon floor.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 62
A view south along a meadow filled with Calliopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria) on the return hike.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 63
A small cave in the canyon walls.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 64
Another sandstone cliff with interesting patterns.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 65
Closeup of the patterns on the cliff wall.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 66
Even after blooming Bergamont (Monarda menthaefolia) makes a nice display with the spent flower head above a colorful whorl of purplish leaves.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 67
The flowers on the Golden-beard Penstemon (Penstemon barbatus) all hang from one side of its stem.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 68
The bright green of sun splashed Aspens contrast with the dark frame of two Ponderosa Pines.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 69
Cinquefoil (Potentilla sp.). I've been unable to identify this orange cinquefoil. The cinquefoils I'm familiar with are yellow or red. If you know, please clue me in.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 70
This Greater Short-Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi) was found in almost the same location as the one photographed earlier in the hike.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 71
Although found in the same area this Greater Short-Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi) displays quite a different coloration then the earlier one we saw.

Sandys Canyon Trail Hike: Image 72
Ponderosa Pine cone.

All images Copyright ©2009 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.