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  1. #1
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    New question here. Looking for info on Northern AZ, Payson pine area

    My wife and I are wanting to go check out some new camping / MTB spots this summer, and I'm coming up empty handed on trail/ camping info below the rim or near payson/ pine. even using the search feature on here. We will be towing a small popup tent trailer, so small sites will do.
    I found a ouple that look intresting.
    Anyone ever camp near payette draw and ride?
    Or control road?

    Thanks in advance everyone. I really appreiate it.

  2. #2
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    why not ride payette?? that would be a fun tech trail on the bike! just dont take the waterfall line in the big climb :P not quite a 5.0 on the bike.

  3. #3
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    If you head up to the rim, woods canyon lake has a pretty nice short little ride around the lake...well kinda, you'll get about 3.5 miles in and then have to turn around because of a bald eagles nest. But its a nice little ride though and has some techy kind of stuff.

    also plenty of other stuff you can do up there as well with some great camping spots if you go far enough in...

  4. #4
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    As a teenager we used to go to a cabin near Washington park in Payson and ride ATC's all over the place I have been wondering if you could ride a bike on that trail, maybe I will need to head up and figure it out for myself. Good luck!

  5. #5
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    theres also a pretty big bike area right across from woods canyon as well. it was a championship track as well a couple years back...would make a great connector to, and if you like downhill stuff, theres a couple trails the drop off the rim...

    Theres also a cabin trail which is supposedly prettybig....let me get a link for you

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    What about bear canyon? from what I see on google earth, There seems to be lots of little fox trails but are they ridable?
    I have already been all over the rim,
    Just not wanting to make the extra drive and kinda want to see diferent woods. like what is @ christopher creek area.

  8. #8
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    well...i didnt really check out bear yet...granted i rode from the west side of bear to woods...which sucked. Any trail thats big, sucks for bikes up there...

  9. #9
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    Highline Trail. From Military Sinkhole to Two-Sixty to Horton Springs.
    "Bicycling...is the nearest approximation I know to the flight of birds." Louis Halle

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GilaMonster View Post
    Highline Trail. From Military Sinkhole to Two-Sixty to Horton Springs.
    You could do that camping from Upper Tonto Creek Campground, small 8 site place with toilets or you can camp in many non pay locations in the area. It's just below the rim and that area is lush and green. Hiking down Horton creek is beautiful in many spots.

    FYI.. take the left hand turn directly across from Kohl's Ranch to access this area. There is a sign for the fish hatchery.

  11. #11
    Meatbomb
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    I don't even remember seeing Kohls Ranch the last time I drove up 260.... soo much new road construction.

  12. #12
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    All the Tonto Creek campsites were "Closed" over the 4th of July weekend (except the pay sites - very limited) and the Tonto Forest was completely "Shut Down". No trail access at Horton, Trail 260, Highline, Carr, Drew, etc...

    You will definately want to check with the Tonto Forest authority before you go up....

    Provided the Forest is back open for business, there are many excellent trails and campsites scattered on or just below the Rim.
    Last edited by azokie; 07-24-2011 at 08:26 PM.

  13. #13
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    Looks like they are full open starting tomorrow....

    I haven't read the closure terms referred to in this document but I'd imagine it means open camp fires are now permitted as well as access to all Tonto Nat Forest areas.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  14. #14
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    I could be wrong... from their site.

    Termination of fire closure areas, July 13
    With increased moisture and monsoonal weather actitivities, Tonto National Forest officials are reducing some forest fire restrictions beginning Wednedsay, July 13 at 8 am.
    The two area closures around the Mogollon Rim and the Mt Ord, Four Peaks and Three Bar Wildlife area will be lifted effective Wednesday, July 13. These closures have been in effect since June 17.
    Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or charcoal-burning device is prohibited. Restrictions also apply to smoking outside of a cleared area, operating internal combustion power tools, using welding equipment or torches with open flames, operating combustion engines without spark-arresting devices in effective working order, or discharging firearms except in taking game in accordance with Arizona hunting laws.

  15. #15
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    The boulders!!! HFY!

  16. #16
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    Thank you everyone!
    This info is great. I think I have decided on upper tonto. "eatdrinkride" can I get a PM of more specific on "non pay sites" in the area. I like the idea of checking out the hacthery and a couple of the trails in that area. + I think the boy scout trail is near by too! :drummer:


    Boulders are too far and my wife wont do too well out there. LOL.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    I don't even remember seeing Kohls Ranch the last time I drove up 260.... soo much new road construction.
    You know, the day they tore down the Cowboy Bar was a sad day for Arizona. I carved my name in the bar back in 1993...it had the best covered porch out back that overlooked Tonto Creek, the perfect spot to kick back with friends, dogs and beers and enjoy an afternoon thunderstorm after riding the Highline or swimming Box Canyon.
    Last edited by GilaMonster; 07-12-2011 at 09:22 PM. Reason: added URL
    "Bicycling...is the nearest approximation I know to the flight of birds." Louis Halle

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LJYJ View Post
    Thank you everyone!
    This info is great. I think I have decided on upper tonto. "eatdrinkride" can I get a PM of more specific on "non pay sites" in the area. I like the idea of checking out the hacthery and a couple of the trails in that area. + I think the boy scout trail is near by too! :drummer:


    Boulders are too far and my wife wont do too well out there. LOL.

    Ya, I'll ping ya when I get more time. FWIW a trip up the road and a hike down into Box Canyon is a great way to kill a few hours as well. You can swim your way from pool to pool amid the pink quartz 150ft cliffs.

    I have a .gpx file of where to park and of the short hike to the canyon if you are interested.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LJYJ View Post
    Thank you everyone!
    This info is great. I think I have decided on upper tonto. "eatdrinkride" can I get a PM of more specific on "non pay sites" in the area. I like the idea of checking out the hacthery and a couple of the trails in that area.
    Here is the main local loop - Up Horton to Highline, across Highline to Powerline, and down Powerline. You can continue on Highline past Powerline to Tonto Creek, but there is plenty of HAB. The starting point is actually at the bottom of the loop right off the road at the Horton Creek Trailhead. My starting point was our cabin up in Tonto Creek Estates. Once you drop down Powerline, you could hang a right up in to the "neighborhood" and check it out...there is a short paved section, but it quickly turns to dirt. Have Fun!


  20. #20
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    Just up the road past Christopher Creek is this ride...you should definately hit this one too. It starts at the 260 Trailhead. If you are really adventurous, you can connect this loop up with the Horton loop...


  21. #21
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    AZokie, Thank you.! I think we will check out both of those trails. We will be up there for 5 days so We might be able to hit up everything in the area if we have enough energy and the bikes hold up.
    STOKED!! :fashizzle:

  22. #22
    Just another half mile...
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    Try out the Cabin Loop trail system up on the Rim. Great back country singletrack. Sometimes hard to follow, so take a Map.

    Quote Originally Posted by LJYJ View Post
    AZokie, Thank you.! I think we will check out both of those trails. We will be up there for 5 days so We might be able to hit up everything in the area if we have enough energy and the bikes hold up.
    STOKED!! :fashizzle:

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LJYJ View Post
    AZokie, Thank you.! I think we will check out both of those trails. We will be up there for 5 days so We might be able to hit up everything in the area if we have enough energy and the bikes hold up.
    STOKED!! :fashizzle:
    You really owe it to yourself to try out Houston Bros Trail and others on the Cabin Loop system. Arguably the finest single-track up on the rim.

  24. #24
    Meatbomb
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    Quote Originally Posted by GilaMonster View Post
    You know, the day they tore down the Cowboy Bar was a sad day for Arizona. I carved my name in the bar back in 1993...it had the best covered porch out back that overlooked Tonto Creek, the perfect spot to kick back with friends, dogs and beers and enjoy an afternoon thunderstorm after riding the Highline or swimming Box Canyon.

    It was sad to see the original Landmark Bar be demolished in Christopher Creek as well. The new building they put in it's place looks like a kit cabin. Kicking everyone out of the trailer park across the street really sucked as well... We had a trailer there for many years and it was a nice place to get away too... Kinda a catch 22 in the fact that when they rerouted the 260 around C-Creek it made the town a much nicer place to be but also killed all tourism.

    Small town politics destroyed that place... Sad.

  25. #25
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    I agree with yeti. Rode up there last week and the ferns are tall and lush. Great moist trails with little traffic and lots of shade. Another plus is you can ride from 6 - 26 miles in the same general area. But do take a map or gps track. Temps are also 10 degrees cooler than payson.
    If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains,
    you're lucky enough.

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