Location : Sunnyside Road just east of Parker Canyon Lake off of highway 83 (NOBO Mile Marker 16.2 )
Weather: Clear skies then enjoyable “sun covering” slightly overcast, starting temperature 65 degrees and the turn about 85-88 degrees.
Total Mileage Completed : 20.5 on AZT
Hike Description: This hike starts about 5 miles east of Parker Canyon Lake on an easy dirt road turnoff called Sunnyside road. The hike is 20.5 miles out and back with an elevation gain / loss of 5124 ft.
I am not going to lie, this hike was a tough hike with monster, solid uphill climbs. Back in 2017, Tom, Shane and I hike up Miller’s Peak from the US / Mexico border and that was a painful 3670 foot climb. More experienced and conditioned now, we had to return and knock off the summit from the opposite section on the AZT.
Even with the temperatures in Phoenix still hovering over 110 degrees, we really had an enjoyably, moderate and quite nice hike here close to the border. A good 3 hour and 45 minute drive, we arrived around 8:00am and knowing this was to be a very long day we quickly began the hike. A warning though, the first 2.5 miles will fool you a little, not much uphill……just wonderful creek-side canyon hiking terrain…… but just wait… It all comes at once and then simply does not stop… up up up. 3,000 feet in 2.5 miles (mile 3 to 5.5) followed by quick 700 ft downhill and then two more sharp uphills. One at Carr’s Peak and the final climb to Miller. Beautiful terrain up though with forested Pine / Aspen tress and of course amazing views all around. Not wanting to bore you with the mile by mile details, all I can tell you is, even with comparably smooth trail, be prepared for a long day of hill climbing. Coming back was fun though… love the downhill. 🙂
This hike puts us at around mile 1370 completed of the 1600 mile out and back quest on the AZT.
Enjoy the photos.