Explore the most popular forest trails near Payson with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This was a nice and easy hike. It would be nice for children because it’s relatively flat and not a lot of climbing. There weren’t any spectacular views but it was still fun.

Amazing views throughout, but a bit of an anti-climatic view at the end unless you decide to continue on the Mazatzal trail. Saw 2 bobcats, a tarantula, and several hummingbirds. Also note: this trail is not 10.2 miles like it says. We clocked 13 miles round trip. So if you do this, plan for a longer trip. First 3.3 miles were most difficult, but then it levels out. I would rate the first half of the trip as hard but the second half after the waterfall as moderate. The waterfall was dried up when we got there. Gravely at some points where you want to be careful with your footing. We didn’t see anyone else on the trail. I recommend starting early in the day before it gets too hot.

This trail has very little shade, no river and it was like walking through kitty litter the whole time. It would be great for dirt bikes but that’s it.

Pretty secluded trail, the creek barely had water but some rain will lush it right back up. Didn’t make it to the end due to arriving late but definitely a nice hike with lots of greenery to see

trail running
16 days ago

This was a fun trail. A little daunting driving past the cattle (including bulls) and human-sized jackrabbits on the 4 mile dirt road on the way in, but fewer animals on the actual trail. We drove a sport sedan, so you don’t need an SUV. The beginning of the trail was a little rocky, but it cleared out and you could get a nice pace. The switchbacks have shade cover if you get an early enough start. We started 8 am. 2L water was sufficient for just over 11 miles. The backside was even nicer for running, but after 5.6 miles out I never saw the intersection with the AZ Trail. I assumed I would since this is marked as an Out and Back, but I may have misunderstood. No water on the waterfalls in Late June.

This trail sucks dont water your time. The sand is the most annoying part of this hike honestly. Not a hike trail.

Payson trails closed due to drought...

Awesome hiking trail today!

After 4 miles you have to be very careful for trail marking. Lots of big boulders and fallen trees are on trail. Also carry a lot of water. If you are not into long hikes don’t attempt this trail. I completed whole loop and have not found any other hiker. So if you are planning to do whole loop carry a lot of water and carry other hiking essentials, most likely you will be by yourself.

attempted to hike this one on 6/2/2018. closed due to extreme fire restrictions.

My dog and I set out on an adventure to find some creeks/water in Payson, but when we arrived at the trail we intended to hike, we were told everything north of Payson is closed.

This was a bummer, so I pulled out my AllTrails and stumbled upon this hike. Overall, I was pretty disappointed. This was more of an ATV/Jeep off-road trail than a hiking trail. The terrain is very desert like and I felt as if we were walking through the desert in PHX. We only got about .8 miles in and had to turn around, as the long stretches of un-shaded gravel/rocks were burning my pups' paws. We decided to find the bit of shade there was, and hammocked for a bit.

All in all, it was very hot, dry, and not shaded. There's no water anywhere to be found either, which was a big bummer for us. Pray for these fires to end and for the rain to come!

Pleasant exercise, beautiful views, clean air. Bring a compass! Did not see any markers - Mile 5? The road back is not paved but very easy to navigate with a sedan.

a great view when you make it! Some shade. lots of rocks to climb over and slide down on.

I just got turned around, it’s closed. Most everything North of payson is closed. South of Payson is open.

Will update rating when I get the chance to go.

hiking
1 month ago

Very scenic hike. Not very intense, just very slippery rocks. Great park to hang out for an afternoon with a picnic.

Great flat trail. Awesome for a short trail run. Not much water in the creek,but still beautiful.

Nice hike!!!Turn right out of the parking lot cross the bridge to the dirt road on the left go up the hill and the trail is on the left,right across from the small campground!Great walk dog loved it!!

hiking
1 month ago

Wide, well-marked lasso trail. Never saw another person on the entire trail on a weekday, early afternoon hike. Lots of up and down but no scrambling.

1 month ago

We loved this hike. trail was tough only because it's up hill, but coming back was a breeze. took the half mile detour to (See Canyon Spring). spring was definitely cool to see with water coming out the side of mountain. the senery was beautiful with lots of shaded areas. it's May 20 weather was great (80 degrees). there's a couple signs along the way with arrows and distance on them. great touch to trail. this was one of our favorites in Payson

1 month ago

We had a great hike. was short and was finished in 1 1/2 hours and we stopped a bunch of times. trail is difficult to find most the time, but what makes that ok is your walking along the river and you can blaze your own way. passed about 8 families along the way and a group fishing in a large area with about 6 fish on their stringer. it's may 20 and temp was good.(80 degrees)

hiking
1 month ago

Spectacular hike!
Started at 0630 with perfect weather on a day with high forecasts of 82F for Payson and 98F for Phoenix.
Fairly steep uphill for the first 3 miles, but the trail is quite good. Do not turn around at the waterfall at 3.3 miles as the next half mile or so is the most scenic of the whole hike. The rest of the hike is mostly flat and generally relaxing.
Amazing views, nice and green and plenty of flowers and wildlife even after a dry winter.
I clocked 12.7 miles for the round trip and it took me exactly 5 hours.
I will definitely be back!

Great time. Beautiful country.

Great trail. An easy hike, the weather was beautiful, and the creak was running.

off road driving
2 months ago

Awesome trail! As stated in other reviews the first 9 miles is very easy and laid back. You can take just about anything down the first part. HOWEVER, if you choose to continue onto FR 209 which is right at the Y intersection make sure you have 4wd, decent clearance, and heavy duty tires. We took our Rubicon w.2.5 inch lift & Kevlar tires and had a blast! 209 is a jeep trail though for sure! If ya have a Chevy captiva, traverse etc don't attempt it.

Highly recommend the Pine Creek Trail if you want to climb over rocks and need a fun little challenge! It was absolutely breathtaking-it was as if it was raining inside the cave when you got to the end! Such a gorgeous site to see...

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty OK hike. First half is more ‘difficult’ than ‘moderate’. I mean, it is 4.2 miles uphill, in parts with a lot of loose shale and dirt, and large rocks, etc. As others have posted, it is NOT 6.1 miles like the description says. By my watch, it was exactly 4.2 miles from parkins lot up to Rim Road 300, so 8.4 round trip. This matches the FS Trailhead sign you can see in my photos, which says Rim Road 300 4 miles. It is not a very scenic hike, lots of blowdown debris, definitely a flash flood area. But, it is very peaceful, quiet, except for the wind, just some lizards and squirrels, and lots of birds chirping. Took me 4 hours, only saw one person, in the last 100 yards, who was just going in to the water to fish.

Love this trail!!! It was nice and cool all day

Nice day hike

water was cascading through

Outstanding love this hike

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