Barnhardt Trail is a 12 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Payson, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length12.0 miElevation gain2,185 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingDog friendlyViewsWildflowersWildlifeRocky
Description
Waypoints (0)

This route starts in the Barnhardt Canyon along a creek. During wet months, you may see a waterfall there. This route can be made into a loop with the addition of the Y Bar Trail. Wear pants to avoid getting scratched by plants.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (367)
Photos (541)
Activities (318)
Completed (665)
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Fran Spencer
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Awesome!

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Kevin Karns
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Hiking

My quest was to reach AZ trail passage 23 and the Chilson Spring, but it turns out there is plenty to see on the Barnhardt trail. April flowers are in bloom, and the waterfall is flowing. Slept at the trailhead so that I could get an early start when the sun rose at 6am. Road to the trailhead is awful, but go slow and you can get there in any vehicle. A few months earlier it was common to see wild horses and javelina families on the roadway. After a mile and a half in there are 8 switchbacks, (I counted and vlogged for added entertainment ... don't judge me.) The waterfall was at 3.2 miles. It was flowing, and sounded magical - wish my phone had an exposure setting longer than 1 second. After the waterfall there's not much more elevation gain, and it's easy to make good time. Miles 3 to 6 used to be a ponderosa forest, but is now a manzanita forest, if that's a thing. Only a few small traces of the ashen, burnt remains of the Willow fire are visible. It was amazing as always to reach the AZ trail at mile 6.3. Not far down the trail to the north were views over the western horizon. At 7.3 miles was the Chilson spring ... dozens of little lizards were running around the spring doing pushups. I loved this hike and will do it again, next time to go south towards Mt. Peeley.

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Kyle Baird
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Hiking

Great hike. Waterfall had water for our dogs at 3 miles.

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Jessica Hanke
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HikingRocky

This trail wasn't anything overwhelmingly awesome. I don't feel like the views were good enough to compensate for A. how rocky the trail was and how much my feet hurt at the end from stepping on rocks the whole way and B. How rough and annoying the road is to get to the trailhead. Trekking poles were very helpful on the way back down, and I'd definitely wear long pants due to the branches sticking out and plants with bees you have to walk through.

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Marisa P
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Hiking

Starting around 9 AM, I went all of the way up Barnhardt trail to the Arizona Trail and continued along it for about 0.8 miles to another AZT trail junction. Important note: the waterfall is flowing. It was a hot and sunny day on the trail. Up to the waterfall there is intermittent shade, especially in the morning. Beyond that is mostly in the direct sun. If you make it to the end of the trail at the first AZT junction, go right about 0.1 - 0.2 miles and you will find a large tree (likely juniper) with plenty of shade & a great campsite. It’s a good resting place whether on a day hike or camping. With temperatures already getting up there, start early, bring sun protection, and bring plenty of water.

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Bill Garling
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Hiking

Great view

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Andrew Alix
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Hiking

Great foliage and red rocks. Would try the loop trail next time

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Alberto Landeros
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HikingGreat!

Awesome trail!

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Lucas Nelson
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jane knutson
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Jonpaul Barrabee
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Jonpaul Barrabee
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Hannah Braun
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HikingRocky

Awesome views the whole way! Apple Maps tells you to park 5 mi before the TH but just drive up the dirt road to the parking lot. We saw a tarantula on the trail!

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Christine Olson
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Hiking

Loved this hike!!! Great views! Yes the trail was Rocky and hiking poles can in handy on the way down. I would highly recommend! Great weather. I’m hoping to come back in 2 weeks!

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A.Walp Squatch_Hiking
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Hiking

Awesome. Rocky.

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Joe Ellis
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HikingSnow

Jan 31, 2021 the trail is all snow. totally doable though!

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Ashley volpe
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Hiking

The trail was good, some rocky parts but not difficult. The views were beautiful but the ending was Anti-climactic... it just ended on another trail, no place to sit and enjoy a snack. If I did it again, I would do the loop.

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Luis Arboleda
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Hiking

Rocky

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Josh Troub
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Dane Andersen
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L W
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Amber Ramirez
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Hiking

Beautiful trail, 

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Dan Leonard
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Amanda Casillo
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Hiking

Nice trail, I’d compare it to Mt Wilson in Sedona

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Ryan Johnston
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Brian Willis
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HikingGreat!
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Chris @WillyOnAMountain
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RockySnow

Hiked in February, while the last of the snow was still feeding Big Kahuna Falls. Nice trail, when there is water coming off the Mazatzals. Plenty of parking, but about a 4 mile dirt/rock access road from the highway to the trailhead. Only reason I knocked it down a star is that, though Barnhardt Canyon is pretty, I can't rate it as comparable to the nicer hikes around Sedona.

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Cody Hogue
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Hiking

Great trail. Easily visible. Lots of incline, but not too steep. Great views, and when we hiked, all the desert flowers were in bloom. We went early, started at 8, and didn’t see a lot of people till our decent which was nice. Saw water on and off. Cute little waterfall off trail around mile 4. I liked this hike. Nice drive from Phoenix.

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Melba Lee
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Great trail I’m 64 my husband is 66 went early 6am to beat the heat and it was great. I must say it is an ankle injury looking to happen. So wear great shoes and just be on the lookout for the rocks it is worth the time great views

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