|Name: Upper Parker Creek Canyon||Author's Rating:|
|Author: Matt Marine||Avg. User Rating: Not rated yet|
|Type: 4WD||Difficulty: - (Easy to Moderate 4WD)|
|Time: 1 - 2 hours||Region: Central Arizona|
|Length: 2.25 miles total (one way)||Elevation gain/loss/change: ~ +344 ft / -257 ft / +87 ft (one way)|
|Type: Out and back||Avg Elevation: 4600 ft|
|Best time to go: fall, spring, winter||Fees: NA|
|Fitness rating: Low||Educational Merit: Low|
|Danger/fear rating: Medium||Scenic Beauty: High|
|Hours of Operation: NA||Last updated: February, 2015|
|Short Description: A short beautiful 4WD trail along the edge of Parker Creek Canyon with views of the canyon and Lake Roosevelt in the valley below|
|Geocaches: A few geocaches in the area:Awesome Canyon ;Refresh yourself and enjoy the view ;Parker Creek Canyon(eering)|
|References / Contact Information: Upper Parker Creek Canyon Hike; A Tale of Two Canyons; Lower Parker Creek Canyon 4WD Loop; Lower Parker Creek Canyon Hike|
|Points of interest: Parker Creek Canyon, hiking Upper Parker Creek Canyon, spectacular camping and scenery|
|Special Considerations: Trail may be impassible after a good rain at the Mother of Mud Holes|
|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 19.3 miles on highway 288 until you come to Waypoint WPT001. Take a left onto the dirt road. Click here for directions.|
This is a short 4WD trail leading to some spectacular camping and hiking spots north of Globe along Parker Creek Canyon. The trail begins in the heavily wooded area along Parker Creek. There are also some nice spots to camp here (though it's a little too close to the road for me). I believe water flows along the creek pretty much all year, though it may not be more than a trickle in early summer.
After leaving the shady creek section, the creek begins to dive down into the valley as the trail keeps to the ridge of the canyon. This is the most difficult section of the trail with some good sized ruts to negotiate. My Jeep did it in 4-high, but I could see vehicles without much ground clearance and articulation not having such an easy time.
Much of the trail is along the edge (not super close though) of Parker Creek Canyon, offering wonderful views of the canyon below. Once you get to the long finger which takes you out to the End of the Road Camp, you will have views on both sides. It's just spectacular. Even if you don't plan on camping or hiking, this is a trail you shouldn't miss!
At Waypoint WPT001, turn off highway 288 onto FR488. You will immediately head down a slight hill toward Parker Creek. After about 0.1 miles, you will cross Parker Creek on a narrow bridge (WPT002). There are some nice camping spots under the trees and along the creek both before and after the bridge.
Continue along the trail. The next section is the most difficult of the trip. There are some nice sized ruts that you will have to negotiate. As stated earlier, I did this in 4-high in my Jeep, but could see some other vehicles with less articulation / ground clearance having more issues. Keep driving another 0.78 miles until you reach WPT003. There is a small parking area (enough to hold 2-3 vehicles) on the right and a foot trail heading down into the canyon on the left. This is the Upper Parker Creek Canyon Hike trail head.
Either park and hike or continue straight on the road. Drive another 1.0 miles until you reach a Y-intersection (WPT004). A right here keeps you on FR488, but is not recommended as part of this adventure. A left here takes you to the End of the Road Camp.
We did take the right here for a short distance (BLUE trail) on FR488. It was EXTREMELY brushy. We decided our vehicles had enough pin stripping for one day and turned around near Mystery Spring.
Bear left at WPT004 to go out to the End of the Road Camp. Immediately after this intersection you will come to the "Mother of Mud Holes". It had rained two weeks prior to our visit and the hole was filled almost to the top. It was much deeper than expected. Click here to see the video. Both Jeeps in the video have lift kits. Stock vehicles may have water above the bottom of their doors. Luckily, the mud wasn't too slippery and the going was easy.
There are a few more mud holes on your way out to the end of the road. Drive another mile until you reach WPT005. There are some awesome camping spots out here. The views are incredible. We took a short hike out along one of the skinny fingers to the end. Very cool, but a little scary. Here's some video. You can see the Google Earth image on the map page.
When you're done, go back the way you came.
Have fun and be safe!