Explore the most popular mountain biking 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.

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.

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.

off road driving
8 days ago

Santaquin Meadows is a dirt road with dispersed camping. It leads to a trailhead marked "Sheepherder". A few hundred feet up the hill from the trailhead, the trail splits with a faint trail heading west to dry mountain, and a much more traveled trail heading right. This trail to the right is Trails 90 and 99, both of which go several miles before intersecting with Nebo Loop. Trail 90 is Sheepherder Hill, but I'm not sure the name of 99.

The recommended route on this trail is the dirt road, which is passable with a passenger vehicle. None of the trails in the area appear to be named "Santaquin Meadows", but I drove this one on the way to the trailhead so I guess I've been on it...

hiking
9 days ago

Red Lake is a destination point but not much of a lake. Over the years its filled in with reeds and in mid-to-late summer its pretty much a dried up mud hole. It's worth visiting in spring and a good hike at other times, but the lake is not as scenic.
For a longer, more challenging hike to this lake (and no parking fee) you can start at the gravel parking lot near the base of the canyon next to the natural gas station and corrals. Go through the gate at the corrals and follow the gas line trail up the hill, past Maple Dell scout camp, and continue up the steep switch-backs until the trail veers right into the trees and intersects with the Red Lake trail. Total distance from the gas substation to the lake and back is about 8 miles and 1,880 ft elevation gain.

hiking
9 days ago

August 8, 2018. AllTrails lists this as Moderate difficulty, but I would call it Easy. I was able to hike from bottom to top only taking quick breaks to snap photos along the trail; no resting to catch breath. It's about 50/50 sun vs shade with alternating sections through aspen forests and open fields/meadows. It's a very well marked trail w/ gradual incline and only one 100 yard steep section towards the top (southeast end) of the trail. AllTrails app tracked it at 2.7 miles but trail signs say 3 miles long.
There's several small creek crossings with most covered by a well constructed bridge/pathway and only a couple hops across rocks over two or three other small drainage crossings. There's one gate you have to go through and lock behind you. Looks like lots of mountain bikes and motorcycles use this trail. I have noticed on Saturday's that the parking areas on the ends are quite full. I hiked it on a Sunday afternoon and only encountered one other person on the trail. It's very powdery dirt along the trail...really dusty. Lots of cows and cow pies the entire route, but the cattle don't get too close.
The trail head at the bottom/start (north end) is well marked. If starting at the uphill side (south end) there's a sign by the road that says 'Jones Ranch' where you'll go through a flat that usually has several campers/trailers. Continue to the north end of the flat camping areas until you see the large wood sign and trail head marker.

hiking
18 days ago

Nice trail, no other people that day (a Wednesday afternoon) , just some cows. Well maintained, beautiful going through the aspens, no hard climbs. Would definitely go again

hiking
30 days ago

Easy to moderate hike. Pretty scenery. Lots of cattle, in mid-July at least.

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty walk.

hiking
1 month ago

Splendid little hike. A little steep at the beginning but not too bad. We ran into a lot of bikers and horse riders and not so many hikers. There were a lot of beautiful views. I would definitely do this again. YOLO

hiking
1 month ago

It was beautiful and would have been nice if we didn’t have our littles with us. I would say this hike is for 6 and up. It is a steady incline and a little long for little people. We enjoyed it nonetheless. We would go back and complete it. Never saw hikers only bikers and horses.

horseback riding
2 months ago

Beautiful

Nice hike. Like others it’s about 4 miles round trip. To get to the trailhead take your first left after hitting the gravel and it’s right next to the bathrooms. The lake at the end is a pond and it’s gross, so don’t get excited for that. But the hike itself is nice and moderate/easy in difficulty.

lovely trail, quite a few creek crossings makes it harder for low level horse back riders, but lovely! definitely itely coming back.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a fun hike! If it weren’t for the fact that everyone in our party was carrying a child (en utero, included), the hills wouldn’t have been bad at all. As it was, they were very manageable, but we were glad when they were over.
Once you reach the lake, it’s worth the extra three minutes to walk to the other side of it for the view.
Lovely wildflowers all over.

hiking
8 months ago

This was a 4.5 mile hike. I went in mid december since we havnt seen any snow so far. I had to part at the entrance of Maple Lake (just off the Nebo loop road). nothing too impressive but good to get to know the area if you're a local like myself. Both red lake and maple lake are frozen over.

Mileage was a little off. The trail was ~ 4.5 miles roundtrip. Beautiful easy hike with a great fall colors. The lake is mostly dried up with the exception of a small spring on the south side of the lake.

hiking
10 months ago

Its was pretty okay. Easy to find. This is more of a nature walk than a hike. I ran into a mountain biker, but no one else. This time of year most of the trees have shed and there wasnt much to look at.

mountain biking
10 months ago

For mountain biking this is the greatest trail in Utah County. Absolutely gorgeous terrain, easy wide trail, mostly downhill. Just amazing.

on Red Lake Trail

11 months ago

Fun little hike. Makes for a great evening trail run. I even saw a big bull elk playing in the water!

this is a fun trail. I started at the south end of the trail. I if your on bike going the way i did, its super loose dirt and hard to get traction. but after that its mostly downhill. There are some creek crossings, jumps, and lots of blind turns.

hiking
11 months ago

Red lake was mostly dried up, but it was a beautiful spot for a hammock.

11 months ago

very easy hike. a few good views. i saw no one else on the trail as well.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The beginning of the trail is pretty steep, but I was looking for a workout so I didn't mind. There is beautiful scenery during the walk. We didn't like the large amount of horse poop on the trail, and the trail was very dusty.

hiking
Saturday, July 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.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Nice hike that wasn't too difficult. Ran into a bunch of cows though and the mamas weren't too happy with us. Also, very hot and not tons of trees to shade you so be sure to dress appropriately.

hiking
Friday, July 07, 2017

Beautiful! Lots of trees. Passes through several meadows. Majority in shade when we went. Bit of a dusty trail, but very nice hike.

hiking
Friday, June 30, 2017

Nice hike through the woods. The wildflowers are beautiful.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Beautiful and partially shaded, lots of green and flowers. Lake is at start of trail, not end destination. Kids did well, very low traffic

hiking
Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Very nice peaceful trail. The kids had a blast hiking here.

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