Parker Canyon Route 288 Roadside Vistas
A series of pull-offs along Route 288 offer exquisite views overlooking Parker Canyon and the bluffs leading up to its edge with a giant red rock monolith, a wall of Parker Canyon, rising before them is certain to catch the eye of anyone traveling this area. In the distance beyond the red rock cliffs is the Four Peaks Mountain over twenty miles away above the opposite end of the Salt River Valley. From some of the vistas a zoom lens can capture a scene of the reddish walled butte, and the striking blue water of Roosevelt Lake set against a background of distant desert mountains. The bluffs below slope with brilliant white grasses that can be green and lush during the monsoon season are cut by red soil of dirt roads that crisscross the plateau below. The grasses end in a thick forest of short pine trees mixed with junipers and even featuring some ponderosa pines, the first real concentration of them visible, as you ascend Route 288 into the Sierra Ancha Mountains.
Here the stellar scenery becomes panoramic as gorgeous mountain peaks featuring bands of reddish and white rock appear, beginning and turning right from Parker Canyon is Armer Mountain, Carr Mountain, and visible from places is the nearby 6,591 foot Grantham Peak. Thick pines now are visible in the slope leading up to the mountains and appearing behind them on a distant ridge is a pine forest of Ponderosa and Douglas-Fir. Slopes of scree, eroded rock slides, mark the upper slopes of several of these mountains and appear as snow with their white color. Despite beautiful scenery in all directions, Parker Canyon with its 700 foot cliffs remains the most eye catching feature even though only a small portion of these cliffs are visible from along the road. A hike down the dirt road will take you to the edge where the full depths of the canyon can be seen.
Some of the pull-offs are spacious and paved while others are little more than dirt cut outs between the road and some thick vegetation spanning 1.1 miles beginning with the NF 140 dirt road (no signage).
Be watchful for oncoming traffic as you turn off to park.
How to Access
Follow Arizona State Route 288 north into the Sierra Ancha Mountains. The National Forest (NF 140) will appear on your left shortly after the cliffs of Parker Canyon become visible.
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Parker Canyon Route 288 Roadside Vistas is located in Arizona.