Sheepherder Hill Trail

moderate 6 reviews

Sheepherder Hill Trail is a 11.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Payson, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 11.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,909 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash


horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips


bird watching



wild flowers

After crossing the bridge at the trailhead, the trail goes through a small wooded area, then winds through large, open meadows. The trail then crosses a small stream and begins climbing into steeper, forested terrain. After climbing a small hill, the trail becomes narrower and turns to the left. Up to this point the trail has followed an old, closed road. Do not continue to follow this road, instead turn to the left following the recently constructed trail. The trail from here winds through more forested areas cllimbing slowly until it breaks out onto a large ridge. The next section of the trail contours along the steep sidehill above Shingle Mill Hollow, eventually crossing the hollow and contouring back on the west side. Next the trail turns to the west going through thick conifer/aspen forest. The trail then enters some meadows and climbs up to another abandoned road. Be sure to turn left (to the west) on the road. The final section of the trail follows this abandoned road to the trailhead in Santaquin Meadows. This is a very scenic trail with few steep grades. Connecting Trail: Shram Creek Trail #124

Almost the entire trail route was burned in 2018 Bald Mountain fire. Very dusty/ ash covered trail. Lots of burned trees still standing.

6 months ago

This trail is now OPEN after having been previously closed due to damages from the 2018 Bald Mountain Fire. Forest Service posted on their social media page that as of 8/09/2019 the trail area as OPEN. Significant fire damage though on much of the trail route. Hiked it Aug 10, 2019 and passed a Conservation Corps crew clearing logs and making trail improvements. Lots of green underbrush coming back after the fire. Sad that so much is burned, but there's still beauty on trail.

Fri Aug 17 2018

Aug. 16, 2018 - Nice, moderately sloped trail that has lots of shade and good variation in meadows, aspens, and conifers. I hiked Sheepherder about 2 miles to the intersect with another trail that headed south of the Sheepherder trail, but was unmarked. It opened up into a really pretty meadow (I later learned is called Kuntz Flat) where I turned around and headed back. If I would have continued the Kuntz Flat trail connects to the Rock Springs trail further up the hill. A couple trails intersect with Sheepherder trail and were not well marked what trails they were or where they led to. I will definitely hike this one again and hope to do the entire route. Seems more secluded and a little less used than Jones Ranch or other trails closer to the paved Nebo loop road.

Mon Aug 13 2018

I brought two teenagers and four kids along this trail. We started on the west end, at the end of the Santaquin Meadows dispersed camping area, and walked in 2.5 miles before turning around. The trail is very soft, but the elevation change on the west half is fairly minimal. Two of the kids were convinced they were going to die, but I thought the trail was very easy and never got winded. We did pass a few dirt bikers, but I wouldn't want to mountain bike this one - the trail is so soft that you're practically in sand the entire way and someone with my limited biking skill would get bogged down. It was a fairly easy hike though, and large sections of it were shady.

Sat Jul 22 2017

The All Trails directions to the trail head have you starting at the gravel parking lot off the main road. However you want to head up the side road towards Winward reservoir. If your driving up from the Payson area, there is no sign indicating the parking area is the road u want. Check your map closely. If you see Jones Trail parking area while driving on the main road; you have gone too far. Once you're on the road to Winward reservoir, there is a fenced parking area where the road almost makes a 180. There are a few different trails starting in that area. But you can see a post with trail 99 from the road. This is the correct trail head. Almost 2 miles from the starting point you come across a small water crossing on the trail. The trail splits here. If you take the fork to the left which goes uphill, you will connect with trail 101. To continue on the Sheep herder trail (trail 99) you want to go right and downhill. Overall the trail is kind of boring. Lots of forest hiking and most of the meadows were dry in late July. I would say the trail is moderate with no big elevation gains. I never had to stop to catch my breath.

7 months ago