Sycamore Canyon Trial goes through the scenic canyon filled with plants and wildlife not found anywhere else in the United States. The habitat is Riparian, Sonoran desert scrub, oak woodlands, grasslands and mesquite. It is in the Coronado National Forest. The trail is rough in spots, but it can be followed downstream to the Mexican border. Hiking in the Sycamore Canyon is good all year round. The elevation begins at 4,000 feet and then falls to 3,500 feet at the border of Mexico. The hike can vary depending on what you want. You can do an easy two-hour stroll or a long 10-hour hike down to Mexico.
The first mile and quarter are easy walking. Then the trail turns to boulder hopping and wadding through water might be necessary. Occasionally you will see spire-like pinnacles that rise from the ground 100 feet. At the end, the canyon opens up and saguaros are on the slopes. You will see a barbed-wire fence marking the Mexican border.
You can get to Sycamore Canyon Trail by taking Interstate 19 north from Nogales to Pena Blanca Lake. Then continue past the lake another 12 miles on Forest Route 39. This Forest Route is a narrow gravel road. You will pass by the abandoned mining town of Ruby and then on to Sycamore Creek. Park here in the shade of one of the oak trees. From this point, you will hike down to the canyon’s entrance. Along the way you will pass by the ruins of the old Bartlett Ranch.
Hikers need to be prepared for the weather conditions. In July and August, the temperature can climb to above 112 degrees with no wind. Thunderstorms are very common during these months and provide temporary relief to the heat. At nightfall the temperature can drop to 60 degrees. By September the cooling trend begins and by February afternoon highs reach the lower 60’s. Hikers should come prepared for the weather and the conditions of this hike. No camping is allowed along the trail.
You will enjoy this hike. The views and plant life are spectacular.