Sycamore Canyon Trail #234 - Devil's Garden

April 24, 2022

For CDT Trail Days, we returned to Sycamore Canyon Trail #234, which is part of the Continental Divide Trail Gila alternative. We first tackled this trail on a very warm day last June. Ken H and Kim R-S joined us for our second attempt, this time in cooler weather.

dreamy creek bed

The trail starts out in a lovely riparian area, and gradually climbs to a the mesa top.

log cleared from the trail

Our friend Dave T was here (the oak leaf is his signature). We are grateful for the volunteers who take care of the trails in the Gila Wilderness!


This time we made it to the official location of Devil's Garden, including a mandatory stop a the "Regis-Tree", a bark-covered mailbox that houses a CDT trail registry. We met eight NOBOs from all over the world on our hike, and it was great fun chatting with them!

giant rhyolite marbles

The mesa is riddled with spooky hoodoos and giant rhyolite "marbles".

Kim crossing the mesa

Kim, the Happy Hiker.

overlooking a side canyon filled with hoodoos

Lunch stop, overlooking an intriguing side canyon.

Only a video can capture the sweep of this other-worldly horizon, stretching from LS Mesa and the Big Lue Mountains in Arizona in the west, to fire-scarred Tadpole Ridge.

claret cup cactus

We didn't see many wildflowers, but a couple of these dazzling claret cup cacti made up for the lack of color.

claret cup cactus against red rhyolite

Claret cup with context.

crevice spiny lizard

Today's wildlife sighting (along with a great blue heron, a water snake and lots of deer). The crevice spiny lizards in this area are exceptionally large, with the distinctive yellow collar and broad yellow back.