Sunday, April 24, 2011

Parker Canyon

I'm not sure what the official name is, but Parker Creek flows through it and people call it Parker Canyon, so I guess I will, too. I was near there about 6 years ago and vaguely remembered some nice scenery. I also remembered traveling for many miles on a dirt road with severe washboard. A lot of people that drive on roads like that go as fast as they think they can (which is actually faster than they safely can, which I believe is one of the reason so many vehicles go off cliffs in Arizona) because it makes the washboard less annoying. Mythbusters proved that actually works. Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked. I was looking at the area east of Roosevelt lake (long story, let's not get sidetracked again) and saw a few pictures of a scenic canyon. I decided that I needed to go check it out.

A canyon before Parker Canyon. It was a little hazy.

When I turned onto 288, I was surprised to see that it was paved. I didn't expect the pavement to last long and sure enough, after a couple of miles I saw a sign saying that the pavement would end in 500 feet. But it didn't. It was paved all the way to the turn off for Parker Canyon (NF488).

NF488 goes along the right side of Parker Canyon.

It turns out that it's difficult to see into most of Parker Canyon. At some places along the rim I was sure I could hear a waterfall below, but I couldn't get to a place where I could see it. Part of the reason was the way the canyon twists and turns but probably the main reason was because the closest I could make myself get to the edge was about 8 feet.

Notice how the canyon walls are pretty much vertical. Knowing that the walls on my side were probably the same, I just couldn't make myself walk right up to the edge.

Maybe I should have sat down and scooted up to the edge. Or maybe not. I kept thinking that the rock on the edge looked like it was about to break away. Heights only seem to bother me when I'm standing on a cliff somewhere. Anyway, I walked a long way trying to find a view into the canyon. I think the best view might be from inside the canyon, though. I talked to a couple that were walking back to their car after hiking down the canyon. They said that there are waterfalls in the canyon. They also said that there are 7 rappels from the top of the canyon to where they came out.

I found a few places with a nice view.

There were other places I wanted to see, but I spent much more time than I had planned at Parker Canyon. The sun was about to set by the time I started to leave, which made for some pictures that I like.

That's Four Peaks on the horizon and Roosevelt Lake in the middle.

I made a short video since pictures don't do a very good job, but the video doesn't either. Turn your volume down; the wind is really noisy.

I think I'll be exploring more out there this summer when it gets too hot to hike in the valley. Click below to see all of the pictures.


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