I have been wanting to go to Sycamore Canyon in the Pajarita Wilderness, but since it is right on the Mexican border, for safety reasons I had to enlist a group to go with me. Bill Bens and his friend Ray, Lee Allen, and I met in Green Valley at 5:30 am for the long drive out. We were supposed to have another hiker with us but unfortunately this person (who shall remain nameless) forgot their hiking shoes and had to go home. Bummer.
The drive from Green Valley took a little under an hour and a half, but there were plenty of views to keep our interest. This was my first time in this area and it is full of rugged, gorgeous scenery.
The start of the hike goes past some ruins from the Hank and Yank Civil-War era homestead. Once you reach the creekbed of Sycamore Canyon, there isn’t an established trail, but there are use paths that criss-cross the creek.
We reached the first pool which we bypassed on the right side:
A little more hiking and we reached a slot pool with steep sides. We determined that the water was over our heads and Lee and I swam through while Bill and Ray bypassed it on the right side.
The water was refreshing and I didn’t mind the swim- it was going to get warmer as the day went on anyway.
There was quite a bit of trash in a small stretch of the canyon. I had brought along trash bags, and we collected the Red Bull cans and other debris left by the drug runners who use this canyon at night. This would make a wonderful backpacking destination, but unfortunately it recieves too much traffic to be enjoyable.
Sycamore Canyon opens up after about 3 miles- we found a spot for lunch before turning around and talked about coming back in the fall when the sycamores are changing color to hike the whole way to the Mexican border and back.
When we reached the slot pool again, I took a minute to inflate my floatie that has been coming along on all my swimming hikes, and we used it to make the trip across the slot pool easier.
We reached the large swimming hole that we’d bypassed on the way in, and stopped for a swim (or a float). We took a couple of pictures for my friend’s blog Doin’ the Wendy. The Wendy is an exuberant, arms-out pose that shows your enjoyment of the outdoors.
After a great swim, it was time to head back to the car. Even though it was the middle of the day, we got lucky with some cloud cover so our hike out wasn’t too warm.
Right when we got back to the parking lot, we got a visit from two border patrol vehicles. The guys said “hide the brown girl!!” as they were driving up. (FYI- I’m Italian and Indian- that’s tech support Indian, not casino Indian) We told them that we’d collected a bag of garbage from a couple different encampments. I asked about the sensors in the canyon and they said “You’ve been watching too much Border Wars.” Whatever.
We made a stop for sodas on the way home and had an opportunity for one more picture:
What a beautiful canyon, I can’t wait to go back when the leaves are changing. For today’s Wildlife Rehab Fundraiser animal- I took a video of the baby spotted skunk from a couple of posts ago eating. So cute!