Panorama Trail is a 9.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Lakeside, Arizona that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, horses, and mountain biking and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from Lakeside: Drive on State Highway 260 towards McNary. Turn left on Porter Mountain Road (Forest Road 45). Drive 6.0 miles towards Vernon. Trailhead is on Forest Road 206.
My boyfriend and I are seasoned hikers and were in the area looking for a fun long hike. To be honest, we were a bit disappointed. There weren't that many great scenic points for how long the trail was. It was a great length for a good afternoon activity, but I'd say it is more of an easy rated trail for a quiet enjoyable walk through the woods.
Cool trail, although pretty hard for me. If you are out of shape and/or not used to the altitude, it will be a great workout. I am both, so I was really huffing at times. Also, I am an experienced bike rider, but not an experienced trail rider. There are two sections at the beginning and end, which have tons of fist-sized rocks. If you go clockwise, the section after about 2-3 miles is very downhill and the one towards the end is very uphill. I had to get off and walk. Great scenery, great views, fresh air. 9 am on a Saturday, I saw two riders in the parking area, and two horse trailers, but I did not see anyone on the trail. It is well-marked, as are most WMTS trails. Going clockwise, towards the end, the trail criss-crosses a big dirt road and is a bit confusing. Just stay on the road and keep your eyes peeled off the road to the left looking for the white diamonds to start again.
Great trail markings
Awesome trail. Great single track, not very rocky. Follow trail clockwise for the most fun.
Did the short loop today, wonderful views from the ridge. Well marked and easy to follow. Lucky enough to a coyote and some beautiful wild flowers. Just made it back to the car before an amazing storm hit. So glad we paid attention to forecast and hiked early, parts of this trail are very exposed and would be quite scary in a thunderstorm
Love this trail for mountain biking. Lots of variety and not too technical. Great trail for beginners.
Definitely a good trail. My wife and I hiked it 3/26/15. Beautiful day. One set of retirees did the mountain bike. Another horse trailer was parked there. It is very well marked except for the intersection of the short cut if you go counter clock wise direction. We probably walked a mile in the wrong direction before my gut said to turn around. When we got back on the trail around 1/4 mile marker 20 we ran into a lady on a horse. She told us about a road that would provide another short cut. I'm glad we took it. It is an ATV trail and was better for us at that point.
Great mtb trail close to town with a little bit of everything from rocky descents to smooth swoopy turns through pine trees and a nice steady uphill climb. Recommend riding clockwise as the panoramic views are easily missed when riding the other direction. Easy to navigate, just follow the blue and white markers on the trees. No facilities at the trailhead so come prepared and ready to rip! Good fun!
Loved this hike! We did the shortcut and everything was clearly marked. The view at the top is beautiful! Well worth it and so close to central pinetop. We even saw a family with kids on this one and some people riding horses!
Nice trail. I also went east and cutback on the clearly marked shortcut. 4.64 miles according to my app. The beginning is a leisurely walk through the White Mountains, and so is the middle and end. The really interesting part comes about a mile and a half into the trail, where you climb a sparsely treed ridge where you can get good views of the White Mountains looking south and east. Unfortunately, this stretch only lasts less than a half mile. I whole-heartedly recommend stopping at marker P7 right before you climb down from the ridge, where you can take in the peace and serenity of the mountains under a shaded Ponderosa Pine.
If you want a shorter hike, take the East half of the loop and come back on the shortcut trail. It's well marked and still has the panorama views. This brings the length to just under four miles.
The local MTBers Strava bench mark. Fun, Scenic & 100% single track. Mountain Bikers should use caution on weekends as this trail is popular w/ hikers & equestrians also.