Explore the most popular 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.




dogs on leash

nature trips


wild flowers



trail running

dog friendly




kid friendly


mountain biking

no dogs

Payson, Arizona Map
13 hours 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

13 hours 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)

1 day 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.

Loved this trail

6 days ago

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

off road driving
6 days 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...

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

This is the second time I have been here. The waterfall this time wasnt to heavy but it is still a beautiful sight to see. My kids had a blast!

9 days ago

This is a photo perfect spot for jumping off the cliffs into the creek, however there isn’t a whole lot of creek to jump in, so it does get congested easily. It is a short trail, easy traverse over boulders, like walking up stairs. There is a cave with a waterfall on this trail, where some boulders have fallen. BIG CAUTIONARY NOTE: I have personal friends who have been swept away and killed in flash floods in this area, please try to avoid during monsoon season, you can be easily become trapped under rocks and drowned. This is also an area with a lot of trash

10 days ago

do you have to pay for parking?

11 days ago

Phenomenal. I haven't backpacked in a while. My legs were definitely feeling the climb out! Every step of this hike is beautiful. From the pines at the top to the stunning desert to the riparian area at the bottom. There was definitely no water along the way. I brought a gallon in with me and back out. I didn't drink it all, but any less would have been foolish. It was very warm, in the 80s. I will be back to do it again!

14 days ago

This was a pretty hike and was more challenging than expected due to our having to climb on and around large rocks.
Since this hike is in a frequent flash flood zone, people have changed the direction they go based on the water level. As a result, there appeared to be multiple trials that make it difficult at times to follow. The waterfalls at the end was very attractive. Beware of the slippery granite rocks around the falls. Even if not wet, they are very smooth. Allow a little longer to do this hike due to the climbing. It took us about 2.5 hours for this three mile hike, even with frequent stops for photography.

15 days ago

Nice day hike

water was cascading through

17 days ago

Apparently I missed the part about no dogs? As usual, took my dog. Seemed fine. Not a remarkable trail, but the views at the top where it intersects Highline are super. Have to go off trail a bit to see them.

Directions from JP and Chrissie T were super helpful. Found the embankment and deer fence without any trouble, trail into the wooded area, clearly marked! Then a little confusion...... until we looked down and noticed the arrow, after that, stunning views into the canyon, stopped at several points to take pictures, the trail going down, and back up not as difficult as we anticipated, we just took our time both directions. Would have spent more time in the water and it not been SO cold!!!

22 days ago

Mile marker 271, pull right and park. Pass gate and cross cattle bars, stay straight into open field until the orange/white "caution type" sign and cairn, or Karen as I called her and called out to her many times seeking direction along the way. At one point I saw Karen perched high on the edge of a cliff and I just had stop there because I didn't see a realistic way to reach her. At this point we did see rock climbers which was pretty impressive. I would have liked to see more but it just seemed too risky. This hike is physically challenging and makes you have to consider which choices are best to make. I liked that, but the lack of water actually falling from the rocks and the nasty water pool, I really have no desire to go back. But, glad I did it. One liter of water was enough for our 2 hour hike. It would have been better in more supportive shoes, but we managed in our Nike's.

Outstanding love this hike

Not easy as rated. There is no defined trail and it is unorganized. We couldn’t believe we had to climb over boulders and such to get across. We didn’t know if we were on the right track. It gets hot so I would go early if you go during the summer.

22 days ago

Great peaceful hike. Camped overnight... Just beautiful nature.

22 days ago

Nice little hike - lot of scrambling over boulders and great scenery. Wasn’t real impressed with the other “hikes” in the park but this one was worth admission.

Wasn't able to make it all the way down to Hell's Hole due to poor timing on my part. I made it to about mile 5 and had to turn back around to beat sunset. I think if I had allotted myself time to rest at the bottom, the trail wouldn't have been so tiring but a 10 mile hike with no break was TOUGH. You do have to cross the small creek at one point and I'd definitely advise wearing long pants because the overgrown brush isn't too friendly. Even though I didn't make it to Hell's Hole there were amazing views and a quiet trail. I'd recommend this hike in a heart beat for someone who's in shape and has a hiking buddy to go with!

4 Miles in and 4 miles out. The Creek was very pretty. Worth the drive!

Loved this hike! It’s strenuous climbing over the boulders and the scenery is beautiful! Saw a rattlesnake so look out!

23 days ago

fantastic hike. Fantastic weather. Water was fresh and clean. Do it again in a heartbeat.

26 days ago

This little mountain was tougher than I expected!
The trail (road) is easy to both follow and walk on and there are no technical parts, but the constant incline is relentless though not particularly steep.
I started at the trailhead shortly after 6am and had ~60F at 3200’ and enjoyed shade 3/4 of the way to the top.
At about 5500’-6000’ I saw a bunch of deer.
The temperature at the summit was pleasant, but I had mostly full sun on the way down and it started to get warm. It was high 80ies when I made it back to my car around noon, and I went through 4 liters of fluid.
It took me just over 3 hours to reach the summit and I was back at my car in ~5h45m including breaks.
This hike felt every bit has hard as Superstition Ridgeline, though having 10 degrees warmer weather today probably made a difference...

26 days ago

Easy hike by a beautiful creek. It was very serene to be surrounded by the sounds of the birds, the wind and the water.

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