The second largest canyon in Arizona - the scenic Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Area - is part of Red Rock Country.
Three national forests - the Coconino, Kaibab and Prescott - make up the area, which covers 55,937 acres of wilderness. From its forested rim near Williams to its desert canyon mouth in the Verde Valley, this area is home to black bear and mountain lion as well as Arizona's state animal, the Ringtail Cat.
What you will find while visiting Sycamore Canyon is solitude, hiking and horseback trails, huge red rocks, pinnacles, buttes and arches, an abundance of wildlife, swimming, Indian ruins, cabins and some great fishing.
Motorized vehicles or mountain bikes are not allowed into the wilderness area.
For sightseeing, visit Sycamore Canyon Vista, which overlooks the wilderness area. For this trip you can use your car, leaving Williams by County Road 73 to the junction of Forest Road 140. Follow until it joins with FR 56, which dead-ends about 3.5 miles from the parking loop. From there, you must walk south for .25 of a mile until you arrive at the Rim Trail.
Wilderness areas come in many shapes and sizes, and there are many opportunities for anyone in reasonable physical condition to visit. A simple day trip requires a Forest Service trail map, plenty of water, appropriate clothes and an adventuresome spirit.
There are special restrictions on fishing in wilderness areas, so check with Arizona Game and Fish offices for more information before starting out. Water is limited to the lower levels of the stream and camping restrictions apply. Visitors are asked not to remove artifacts or deface ruins while in the area.
For more information or maps, contact the city of Williams-Forest Service Visitor Center at (928) 635-1418 or visit www.williamschamber.com.