Sycamore Rim Trail stuns with options, foliage, and waterfalls

By Amanda Lane, Owner, Hike Shack

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness has so much scenic beauty to offer. It has many access points and many miles of trails surrounding it and in it. One of my favorite Sycamore hikes is the Sycamore Rim Trail. It is a bit of a drive to get to, but well worth the effort.

From Prescott, the drive to the trailhead (near White Horse Lake) takes about two hours. I like to take the I-40 and head to Williams. Then take the exit just past Williams: Garland Prairie Road. Once you are heading south on Garland Prairie Road, you will make a slight right onto Forest Service Road 141. After 6.5 miles turn right onto White Horse Lake Road. After about 3.5 miles you will see the trailhead on your left. There is a very large parking area and restrooms, but no running water.

The trailhead from here is the closest access point to Sycamore Falls; a series of waterfalls at this end of the canyon. This area is also known to climbers as Paradise Forks and has a large amount of single pitch climbs to tackle. The trails here follow the edge of the rim and can be turned into a 12-mile epic adventure or just some easy out and back exploring as you take in the incredible view of the canyon below. The trail is rocky and rough but not too hard.

There is no great access into the canyon unless you bring your rappelling gear. The Forest Service roads offer options to make shorter loops and for simpler access to other parts of this trail. Large maps showing all the points of interest can be found at the trail access points.

The Rim Trail follows the edge of the canyon, then loops around Vista Point, Dow Spring, KA Hill and Pomeroy Tanks before returning to the falls. In the fall, the colors are incredible against the black and red rock of the canyon walls. Towering pines, junipers and Gambel oaks cover the edge of the rim while quaking aspens can be seen in the canyon below. This canyon, after a good storm, can be a little tough to get to with muddy roads; but watching the water flow into the canyon as it pours over the rock and into the pools below is absolutely breathtaking. This trail would make a great overnight adventure with some backpacking gear or just a fantastic day trip. It is well worth the drive.

Stop by The Hike Shack at 104 N. Montezuma Street in Prescott or call 928.443.8565 or visit