Reflections of Parsons Creek in Sycamore Canyon

Through the gorgeous Sycamore Canyon, a dozen-plus aerial miles west of Sedona, winds the determined Parsons Creek. It’s source: Parsons Spring. It’s destination: The Verde River.

reflection of Sycamore Canyon wall on the creek
This picture is not upside down. It’s a reflection of the canyon wall on Parsons Creek.

Before forcing it’s way to the Verde River, Parsons Creek meanders through a towering canyon abundant with obstructions. Rock ledges here and sharp-turns there. Fallen trees and thirsty plants stand in the way, too.

shimmering natural pool with reflection of high canyon wall at the back

towering canyon wall with a natural pool in the foreground
One of several picturesque pools formed by Parsons Creek as it winds its way toward the Verde River.
Aerial view of a Parsons Creek pool from a rock ledge above
Aerial view of a Parsons Creek pool from a rock ledge above.
gif moving image of creek
Parsons Creek runs through, over and around numerous obstacles.

Yet the creek forges on, as it has done for thousands of years, carving a magnificent spectacle for the human eye. It beholds many, many sights for sore eyes, with magnificent colors that change with the seasons.

Click any image for a larger view.

Note: it’s not safe to drink stream or spring water without first filtering or treating it.  I always filter it with Clearly Filtered bottles for whom I am a proud affiliate marketer.

Accessing Parsons Creek via Parsons Trail isn’t exactly easy. The first five miles of the cruise north on the paved Sycamore Canyon Rd from Clarkdale is a little deceiving. It’s when you venture on to the last five miles of the rugged, suspension-mashing dirt stretch of the road that you begin to wonder if it’s worth the drive. Provided you have a high-clearance vehicle that can make the trip, IT IS well worth it.

From the Parsons Creek Trailhead, the first three-quarters of a mile is a fairly sharp drop into the canyon. After that, the trail winds gently along the mostly shaded banks of the creek, approximately four miles toward the spring. A few creek crossings lend to the adventure. In warmer months, shoes and clothing you can wade in are a smart choice.

Click any image for a larger view.

Remember that initial descent down into the canyon? Reserve enough energy and water to climb it on the way out.

Want to see Parsons Creek in Sycamore Canyon for yourself? Tap the map 


  1. Looks beautiful. How did you get that one photo of the creek to shimmer?

    Have you hiked Tucson at all? I love hiking it in all 4 directions. Long hikes on Mt Lemon, Sabino Canyon, Reddington Pass, Saguaro National forest east and west, North of town, South of town, Patagonia much beauty.

    1. Thank you! Basically just took about ten shots in succession and then made a gif file out of them using the Google photos app. It works great for moving water. I have many of those spots on my wish list. Just haven’t made it down that way yet. Hopefully this year!

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