|Name: Lower Parker Creek Canyon Loop||Author's Rating:|
|Author: Matt Marine||Avg. User Rating: Not rated yet|
|Type: 4WD||Difficulty: (Easy 4WD)|
|Time: 1 - 2 hours depending on how much time you explore||Region: Central Arizona|
|Length: 2.25 miles total||Elevation gain/loss/change: ~ +149 ft / -357 ft / -208 ft (one way)|
|Type: Loop||Avg Elevation: 3000 ft|
|Best time to go: fall, spring, winter||Fees: NA|
|Fitness rating: Low||Educational Merit: Low|
|Danger/fear rating: Low||Scenic Beauty: High|
|Hours of Operation: NA||Last updated: October, 2014|
|Short Description: A short 4WD trail leading to an old ranch, Arizona's largest wild blackberry patch (maybe), and old explosives storage building and the Lower Parker Canyon hiking trail head|
|Geocaches: A few geocaches in the area:Parker Creek Slot Canyon ;Z 53 ;The Cutie Coati|
|References / Contact Information: Upper Parker Creek Canyon 4WD; Upper Parker Creek Canyon Hike; Lower Parker Creek Canyon Hike; A Tale of Two Canyons|
|Points of interest: Old ranch house, Arizona's largest wild blackberry patch (my guess), Jungle in the Desert, Lower Parker Creek Canyon Hike trail head, explosive storage building, slot canyon overlook|
|Special Considerations: Trail can be VERY Brushy and overgrown in some places. Water flows down the canyon year round, but it's not drinkable. Please be respectful of the ruins and blackberry patch|
|How to get there: From Globe take highway 188 north and drive 14.7 miles to highway 288. Take a right onto highway 288. Drive 12.7 miles on highway 288 until you come to A Cross Road. Take a left onto the dirt road and drive about 1 mile until you reach Waypoint WPT001. Turn right onto dirt trail. Click here for directions.|
This is a short, easy 4WD trail north of Globe which takes you to a wide variety of interesting places. An old ranch haunts the beginning of the trail, very close to A Cross Road. The structure is in pretty good shape, but it's seen some vandalism and use by partiers. It's still worth a visit though. There also used to be other buildings at the site, shown by the concrete slabs in the area.
Further down the road are two large underground water storage tanks. I believe these may be used by Game and Fish to help the wildlife in the area.
You can also visit the "Jungle in the Desert". I did not give this area the name, but it is appropriate. There's a nice spring feeding a large triangle of green growth in the middle of this barren and dry desert. Huge trees make shade for what I call "the largest wild blackberry patch in Arizona". I have no idea if this is true, but the patch is HUGE and super thick. I would love to visit the patch when the berries are in season.
The trail also parallels a slot canyon to the north, giving you some great views of the canyon. You can park at some of the overlooks to get a better look. Be careful, the canyon walls are steep and the footing is loose.
If you're in for a hiking adventure, then this trail also provides access to the Lower Parker Creek Canyon trail head. This is an uber cool hike through a narrow slot canyon, but don't go on it if you don't like getting wet.
Finally, you will come to an old explosives storage building built on the side of a hill. At least that's my guess to what this small, but impressive building was. Either that, or an ice house.
See Map page for Google Earth images also.
From Waypoint WPT001, turn off A Cross Road and head north along the trail. You can see the red ranch house from A Cross Road and will come to it within a tenth of a mile. The road you want to take can be hard to see and is BEFORE you get to the ranch. It is a left turn as you're heading toward the ranch (WPT002).
If you want to explore the ranch house, park next to it and take in the sights (WPT003). After you're done, head back the way you came in and continue on the trail that takes you north.
Continue driving about 1/3 of a mile to Waypoint WPT004. The road on your right leads to the two underground water tanks on the hill (WPT004A). We did not take this road or visit the tanks. I do not know what condition the road is, but it is less than a tenth of a mile to the tanks if you want to see them.
Continue straight at WPT004 and drive north for another 1/3 of a mile until you reach WPT005. Continue straight, past the road to your right as the road now heads west. You begin to enter the "Jungle in the Desert" and the road becomes very brushy at this point. Don't worry, it will widen out, but you will add some more Arizona pin stripping to vehicle.
After another 0.1 miles, you will come to a nice parking area to explore the Jungle in the Desert and Arizona's Largest Wild Blackberry Patch at WPT005A. Again, not sure if that's at all true, but the patch is huge. Park your vehicle and walk down the trail into the patch. Large trees shade the area and it's a nice spot for lunch. If the blackberries are in season, you are a lucky person. There's a chain link fence surrounding the actual spring.
When you've had your fill of shade and blackberries, keep driving to the west along the trail you came in on. After about 0.4 miles, you will come to a parking area at WPT006. This a good spot to get a better look at the slot canyon to the north (Parker Creek Canyon). Be careful of your footing, the rocks can be loose and slippery.
After another 0.3 miles, you will come to a four way intersection at WPT007. The trail on the right only goes for a short distance before it ends. This is the trail head for hiking Lower Parker Creek Canyon. Heading straight will take you out to A Cross Road (but you will miss the explosives house). Bearing left here will also take you back to A Cross Road and by the explosives house.
Bearing left, travel south down the trail for 0.6 miles until you get to the explosives house at WPT008. This thing was built tough. It's very cool. Continue heading down the trail for another 0.1 miles until you reach A Cross Road at WPT009. Turn left to head back to highway 288.
Have fun and be safe!