Arizona Hiking Gallery
Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike
Kaibab National Forest, Williams, AZ
September 9, 2007
Gallery contains 77 photos
Gallery last updated: 9/30/2007

The Sycamore Rim Trail hike is an scenic 11 mile loop hike through ponderosa forest and meadows, alongside streambeds with rock pools and marshy ponds, and with nice canyon views along the rims of Big Spring and Sycamore Canyons.

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 1
I start my hike on the Sycamore Rim Trail (a counterclockwise loop) at the KA Hill Trailhead, one of five trailheads that provide access to the 11 mile Sycamore Rim Trail. (Note that north is to the left on this sign.)

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 2
The trailhead is at a beautiful meadow surrounded by ponderosa pine forest.

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 3
Narrowleaf Four O'Clock (Mirabilis linearis).

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Across the road from the trailhead the trail enters the forest and starts its climb up KA Hill, the only climb of any significance on this hike.

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Lupine (Lupinus sp.) in a clearing on KA Hill.

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Bill Williams Mountain in a view to the west from on top of KA Hill.

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A view from KA Hill looking northeast across Garland Prairie toward the San Francisco Peaks.

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 8
Narrowleaf Four O'Clock (Mirabilis linearis).

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 9
With the bark stripped from this Alligator Juniper (Juniperus deppeana) trunk the trails of the insects that once tunneled under the bark are clearly visible.

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 10
The alligator skin-like bark of Alligator Juniper (Juniperus deppeana).

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 11
Deeply furrowed bark of a large old Gambel Oak (Quercus gambelii).

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After dropping off KA Hill the trail meanders through open ponderosa forest with small grassy meadows.

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A forest meadow alongside the Sycamore Rim Trail.

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The Sycamore Rim Trail turns to the south and follows Isham Spring Canyon, which at this point is not much more that a rocky depression in the meadows.

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 15
This is the first of several small pools/ponds/tanks that are passed as the trail heads down Isham Spring Canyon toward Pomery Tanks.

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 16
Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus).

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 17
Clouds reflecting in a grassy pond in Isham Spring Canyon.

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Hairy Waterclover (Marsilea vestita) is an aquatic fern whose leaves resemble a four leaf clover and float on top of the water.

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A small cluster of Calliopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria) growing at the edge of the pond.

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Calliopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria).

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A tank surrounded by a u-shaped jagged rock wall at its upper end.

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On old dead ponderosa snag.

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The quiet waters of this tank reflect the surrounding rock walls.

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Pomeroy Tanks is a series of natural stone pools. Here a tank reflects the trees, sky and clouds.

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A tank at the base of a basalt cliff.

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The beautiful New Mexico Checkermallow (Sidalcea neomexicana) flowers on a stalk about 2 feet high at Pomeroy Tanks. Also known as Salt Spring Checkerbloom or Prairie Mallow.

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 27
Western Yarrow (Achillea millefolium).

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A rock tower at Pomeroy Tanks.

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Yellow wildflowers at Pomeroy Tanks.

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Western Bistort (Polygonum bistortoides) at Pomeroy Tanks.

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A large group of Western Bistort (Polygonum bistortoides) at Pomeroy Tanks.

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Pomeroy Tanks.

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Clouds reflecting in Pomeroy Tanks.

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Western Bistort (Polygonum bistortoides) at Pomeroy Tanks.

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Yellow daisy-like flowers at the base of a ponderosa at Pomeroy Tanks.

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Forest service sign indentifying Pomeroy Tanks. From Pomeroy Tanks the Sycamore Rim Trail continues following Isham Spring Canyon until it meets up with Big Spring Canyon at Sycamore Falls.

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 37
The bright blue blossom of Western Dayflower (Commelina dianthifolia).

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 38
A dead ponderosa stripped of its bark.

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 39
Aspen Fleabane (Erigeron sp.).

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Aspen Fleabane (Erigeron sp.).

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 41
The Sycamore Rim Trail crosses the Isham Spring Canyon drainage a few times before arriving at Sycamore Falls.

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 42
Aspen Fleabane (Erigeron sp.).

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Another crossing of Isham Spring drainage.

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 44
Paintbrush (Castilleja sp.).

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Looking down Big Spring Canyon from the Sycamore Falls area.

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 46
The cliffs in the Sycamore Falls area are popular with rock climbers. Here a rock climber is scaling the cliff.

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 47
Looking down at a pool in Big Spring Canyon at the Sycamore Falls area.

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A strange orange wildflower. (Unidentified at this time.)

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A log rests in a field of white and yellow wildflowers.

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After the Sycamore Falls area the canyon becomes much deeper and the Sycamore Rim Trail climbs a little through a sparse forest and then follows along the canyon rim in an easterly direction for several miles.

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 51
Woodhouse's Phlox (Phlox woodhousei).

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 52
Orange and black beetles on Antelope Horns (Asclepias asperula) of the Milkweed family.

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A closeup view of the Antelope Horns.

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A view of Big Spring Canyon in the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness.

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The north rim of the canyon, which the Sycamore Rim Trail is now following, marks the northern boundary of the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness.

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An interesting "twisted" trunk of a dead juniper tree.

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 57
An easterly view looking along the rim of Sycamore Canyon.

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Daisys add a splash of color in front of a decaying log.

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The fruit of a Parry's Agave (Agave parryi).

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Caption for IMG_5196

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 61
Along the rim of Sycamore Canyon.

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The Sycamore Rim Trail.

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Cliffs along Sycamore Canyon rim.

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A wonderful Juniper clinging to the rim of Sycamore Canyon.

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Looking down into the depths of Sycamore Canyon.

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The Sycamore Rim Trail right at the edge of the rim of Sycamore Canyon.

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As Sycamore Canyon makes a turn to the north it becomes a much shallower canyon.

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A forest meadow.

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Big, bright yellow flower of the Yellow Pond Lily (nuphar polysepalum) in a pond in Sycamore Creek.

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Large heart-shaped leaves of the Yellow Pond Lily (nuphar polysepalum) float on top of the water.

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Sycamore Canyon has now become shallow Sycamore Creek.

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Yellow Pond Lily (nuphar polysepalum) as seen from above.

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The Sycamore Rim Trail following alongside marshy Sycamore Creek.

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Sycamore Creek.

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A large patch of Hairy Waterclover (Marsilea vestita).

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Sycamore Rim Trail alongside Sycamore Creek.

Sycamore Rim Trail Loop Hike: Image 77
This large meadow signifies the end of the hike as the KA Hill Trailhead is just a few more steps away.

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