Oak Creek and Sycamore Canyon, October 26, 2017

Father Charlie and I went to Sycamore Canyon to check out the fall colors at Parson Springs. Unfortunately, the colors haven’t changed there yet. We’ll try again in a couple of weeks. Before going to Parson Springs, we hit some other spots along Oak Creek and the Verde River.

We left at about 8 AM, and arrived at Page Springs Hatchery at about 10.  The Hatchery is alongside Oak Creek. We then went north a little ways to the Page Springs Road bridge over Oak Creek. We parked near the bridge and hiked along the creek.

There are several wineries and vineyards along Page Springs Rd, with accompanying wine tasting venues.

Next we went to Sycamore Canyon. This is the less known (but just as scenic) cousin of the popular Oak Creek Canyon. First we stopped at the TAPCO River Access along the Verde River. From there we went north on Sycamore Springs Road to the Parson Springs Trailhead. We could see from the top that the colors hadn’t changed yet, but decided to hike down anyway. Also, it was too late in the afternoon to get good lighting in the bottom of the canyon. It was about a 45 minute hike to the first pool, where we arrived at about 5:00 PM. It is a beautiful spot. For photography, the canyon walls had already shaded the area, but I posted some shots anyway. The sun sets at about 5:45, and we hiked out of the canyon in the twilight.

It took some effort to ID the Showy Goldeneye flower. In the process, I found a cool site for Arizona wildflowers (to add to my list of AZ wildflower sites – see ‘links’ tab on this site). It is here. One useful feature is that you can specify an area on the map, and it will show all the species reported from that area (go to Specimen Search, and then Map Search). Also, under the ‘Flora Projects’ tab, it has specific areas, such as ‘Sedona / Oak Creek Canyon’.

We didn’t get many bird photographs. Instead, we got butterflies, dragonflies, flowers, and landscape shots.

I had never been to these places around Cottonwood before, and they are all beautiful.

POST UPDATE: I originally posted this on Thursday, 10/31 at 7:45 PM. There was a problem that no email notifications were sent out. I think (hope) I have fixed the problem, and the notifications have finally gone out on 11/7 at 6:17 PM!

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