Sycamore canyon is second only in size to the Grand Canyon in the red rock country of Arizona. Stretching from Cottonwood to Williams it is only accessed by horseback or foot. The trail starts with a steep 200' stair step descent into the canyon. Once you arrive at the bottom it follows a lovely tree lined path along the spring fed creek. Sycamore and oaks trees mix with the colorful cliffs and towering pinnacles.
We had attempted to do this trail back in the spring of this year, but at the first stream crossing, of six, we were thwarted by the massive flowing runoff. At that time the water was up to Bob's thighs and flowing fast. To dangerous for me and the water was cold..cold..COLD!
This time we came prepared with water shoes and strong hiking poles. We lucked out with summer time temps on a beautiful fall day. The water was cool and only slightly above our ankles at the crossings. The trail continued winding through the canyon and eventually we did 6 crossings before reaching the springs.
Midway on the trail we came across a beautiful deep swimming hole that would probably be where we would stop next time we do the hike. It is about 3 miles in, making for a nice 6 mile round trip day hike. I don't know why we are always so far off on mileage but this round trip took us about 10 miles, while the trail guide said it would be closer to 7.5. The climb back up out of the canyon was easier than I remembered it in the Spring though, so all the hikes this season seem to be paying off in more ways than just enjoying the beauty of the land.
So glad we re-did this hike in the fall. The colors across the canyon where so beautiful in the late afternoon light. It's always a great day when you arrive back to the jeep with dirt crusted and tired legs.
Directions. Take Highway 89A South from Sedona to Cottonwood AZ. At the junction of Arizona 260 and US 89A, go right and proceed 1.4 miles to Historic 89A. Turn north and drive 3.8 miles to the turnoff to Tuzigoot National Monument. Turn right and proceed 0.4 miles, then turn left on Sycamore Canyon Road and proceed 10 miles to the trail head. Most of Sycamore Canyon Road is unpaved, but it is passable to family sedans except during periods of heavy rain.