Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

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
2 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
3 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.

This was a nice, easy, and beautiful paved trail. It’s less of a hike and more of a leisure walk for the whole family to take in the sights and enjoy. Plenty of benches and picnic tables, so be sure to pack a lunch!

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty walk.

hiking
1 month ago

walking
1 month ago

A very well maintained paved walking path around the lake. The best time to be up there is in the fall. The colors are incredible. We were there on a weekday and had the lake to ourselves. The path is pretty much flat and can be done with a stroller or wheelchair.

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.

beautiful. we camped at one the campsites nearby and strolled the lake during the evening. it was a lovely weekend. bugs weren't too bad, thankfully, and it was nice to get away from the hubbub of the city... will definitely consider going back!!

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.

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.

I got some awesome pictures, the scenery was perfect.

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.

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!

hiking
11 months ago

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

hiking
Monday, August 14, 2017

Very pretty riverside trail. We started near the Tinney Flats end; definitely bring water-friendly shoes on this one. Hiked it in mid-August, but the river crossings were many, including one 100 yard stretch where you don't leave the river, you just hop from rock to rock. Two of our group turned back during this stretch, and the other three of us made it a few miles down the trail. At that point, the trail became so muddy with running water that we felt it best to turn back.

In mid August, we did see several other groups on this trail. There is parking at the trailhead. I would not bring anyone on this trail that is not confident in river crossings and could handle them without assistance.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Easy and stunning.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Super easy, lots of people but a nice getaway. Bring mosquito spray!

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.

hiking
Monday, July 10, 2017

Very much enjoyed this hike. The water level is down enough to make crossing easier, I would still wear shoes you don't mind getting wet or muddy. Lots of wild flowers and varied plants. There is still a fair amount of dead fall but fairly easy to get around. I did not see one person the entire hike even for a Monday that is rare.

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.

Monday, July 03, 2017

We really enjoyed the trail around the lake. Very kid friendly.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Went on a walk around the lake today (Sunday) and it was filled with people hiking, boating, skipping rocks, fishing, and just relaxing. And it was wonderful. The weather was fantastic, it was cloudy and only a little sunny. There was a breeze and it felt great. Highly recommend for leisure activity.

hiking
Saturday, July 01, 2017

The walk around Big East Lake is gorgeous! We brought the fishing poles and fished until 10pm when the day-use area closes. We'll definitely be back.

hiking
Friday, June 30, 2017

Nice hike through the woods. The wildflowers are beautiful.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Beautiful, easy , relaxing.. makes a for a perfect day away.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Did this trail jun 9-10 with my 2 sons.

Water flow is still really strong and multiple stream crossings are up to my knees.

The trail is obscured and/or blocked in many places by deadfall.

Fun trail though.

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