logo Arizona Trailblazers

Contact Us
Calendar of Events
Trip Reports
Hike Descriptions
Trip Planning Guide
Leader Info
Outdoor Links
Lessons Learned
Hike Arizona: Roosevelt
Ballantine Trail, Tonto National Forest
Barnhardt Trail, south of Payson on Hwy 87
Boulder Bob, Sunflower, on Hwy 87
Browns Peak, Mazatzal Mountains
Butcher Jones Trail, Saguaro Lake
Cottonwood Trail #120, Roosevelt Lake
Deer Creek Trail #45, Mazatzal Mountains
Four Peaks Trail #130, Mazatzal Mountains
Little Saddle Trail #244, Mazatzal Mountains
Palo Verde Trail, Bartlett Lake
Upper Cliff Dwellings Tour, Tonto National Monument
Timber Camp Mountain, Salt River Canyon
Parker Creek Trail #160, Sierra Anchas
Workman Creek Falls, Sierra Anchas

Carlson, Jack, Stewart, Elizabeth, Superstition Wilderness Trails East, Clear Creek Publishing, Tempe, AZ, 2010.
Hikes in the eastern part of the Superstition Wilderness are complete with topographic maps, history and legends.
Freeman, Roger and Ethel, Day Hikes and Trail Rides in Payson’s Rim Country, Gem Guides, 2005.
Payson area trail descriptions are given to the nearest hundredth of a mile and illustrated on maps.

Barnhardt Trail, Rye

Hike: General Description: 3.5 hours hiking time one way, requires water.
Best Time of Year to Hike: spring or fall
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
Length: 6 miles one way
Elevations: 4200' to 5650'
Drive: To reach Barnhardt Trailhead, take State Highway 87 toward Payson for 62 miles north of Mesa. A sign indicates a left turn to the trailhead. After turning a five mile gravel road, suitable for passenger cars, will lead you to the trailhead.
Description: The trail starts out wide and rocky but gets more distinct as you proceed. After 0.4 mile, you will pass through a wilderness boundary sign and, at 1.4 miles, you will already have climbed 420 feet. You will next encounter a series of switchbacks high on the lift side of a drainage.

At this point the trail angles to the right and at the second tributary, just over three miles from the start, there is a narrow canyon that, during heavy snow melt or the monsoon season, contains a cascading waterfall of at least 50 feet.

Continuing now, as you skirt a very deep canyon to say the least, you will encounter a trail called Sandy Saddle Trail that branches to the right, but continue straight ahead. There is a mixture of ponderosa pine and manzanita as you near the end of the trail at Divide Trail.

A left turn allows you to intersect with Shaketree Trail and return to Barnhardt trailhead at the parking lot.
Description: For those of you who crave waterfalls of any size, March is the time of year to hike from the 4000 foot to 6000-foot level of the Matatzal Peak area.

The trailhead is at the end of a good dirt road, about 5 miles from the beeline highway. The turnoff to the left (going north) is about a mile beyond the Roosevelt Lake turnoff ... and about a mile before you get to the Rye Store...just south of Payson. There are several trails from this trailhead, so look for the one marked "Barnhardt Trail." The geology is great (folded rock formations, switchbacks, desert to pines, snow on top this week, lots of runoff, and the trail is a good horse or hiking trail.

I recommend this hike for all club members, as it takes about 2 hours to get to the waterfall area (where the water crosses the trail, take a left into the side canyon where the source of the water is a double-dip waterfall). For the very serious hikers, you can continue 19 miles around the peak and come back to your car! But most of you will have lunched at an overlook just this side of the waterfall area and return by the same route to your car (round trip about 4-5 miles).

If you like backpacking, there is a nice spot in the pines beyond the waterfall area, which is popular with the boy scouts, but it is big enough for lots of people. If you want to be alone, just continue around the mountain, or take any of the side trails (just remember your route ... or you may end up a week later at Horseshoe Dam or Bartlett Lake.

   Mike Clayton
clip Trip Report
return to top

Cottonwood Trail #120, Roosevelt Lake

  • Gradually climbing through the beautiful riparian area in Cottonwood Creek, this trail is part of the 750 mile cross state Arizona Trail.
  • Best Time of Year to Hike: All year
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Length: 8 mi. RT
  • Elevation:  2300' to 3800'
  • Managing Agency: Tonto National forest (520) 467-3200; Maricopa County Sheriff
  • Weather Conditions - Globe
Drive: Take U.S. 60 east toward Globe; turn north (left) onto Arizona 88 just before Globe; drive about 28 miles to the signed Frazier Trailhead (3/4 mile east of Roosevelt Visitor Center on the south side of the highway).
Description: The Cottonwood Canyon Trail #120 offers access to a nice riparian area. The first mile follows easy grades, and the trail then links to FR341 (which is open to motor vehicles). It begins to climb steeply up a ridge alongside Cottonwood Canyon for two miles. Copper cliffs, hollowed in spots by wind and water, look down the throat of the canyon, where jagged walls plunge steeply out of sight into the canyon depths. From behind, views of Roosevelt Lake splay across the V of Cottonwood Canyon.

The reward for the steep climb is the trail's entry back into the canyon. It leaves the road as it passes a large metal tank and enters a corral. Following waist-high cairns, the trail enters an enchanting section of the canyon as it crisscrosses a stream that meanders under a cover of cottonwood and sycamore trees. At Cottonwood Spring, a forest of sycamores drips with grapevines at the base of the canyon's deep coppery cliffs. The trail ends at FR83.

NOTE: The Rep recommends to stop in at Guayo's on the Trail (520-425-9969) just off U.S. 60 near Globe on Arizona 88 for a post-hike Mexican feast.
clip Trip Report
return to top

Upper Cliff Dwellings Tour, Tonto National Monument

Time: 10:00 am
  • Best Time of Year to Hike: Winter
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 3 mi. RT ; the round trip takes 3 to 3.5 hours
  • Elevation: 600 ft.
  • Cost: $4 / per vehicle for admission to the Tonto National Monument
  • Tour is limited, make sure to contact trip leader to ensure availability
  • Weather Conditions
The rocky trail surface requires sturdy shoes or hiking boots. Hats, sunscreen and water are recommended. Other suggestions are snacks, camera, binoculars and foul weather clothing. Bees can be active in the Upper Cliff Dwelling area during the spring. If you are allergic to bee stings, please be prepared. Part of the trail runs through the creekbed, this water should not be consumed. There are many loose rocks and boulders in the creekbed, due to the 2.5 inches of rain they received in less than an hour on August 31, 1999.
Drive: The drive from the Phoenix area to Tonto National Monument is 2.5 to 3 hours. It is not advised to take the Apache Trail from Apache Junction, as about half of this route is unpaved and very slow. We should return about 4:30 to 5:00 pm.
National Park Service - Tonto National Monument
Tonto National Monument (DesertUSA)
Arizona Guide - Tonto National Monument
NPF Guide, Tonto National Monument

clip   Trip Report : February 19, 2000
Trip Report : January 1, 2011
return to top

Workman Creek Falls, Sierra Ancha

  • This hike reaches the highest point in the Sierra Ancha range at almost 7800 ft of elevation via trails bounded by beautiful ponderosa pine, and aspen forest. The view of the Salt River Valley from the top is spectacular. Best of all, the end brings you to a wonderful 200-300 ft waterfall. Just perfect for a nice cooling dip to top off a great day.
  • Best Time of Year to Hike:May-Sep
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Length: 7-8 mi  RT
  • Elevation Change: 1500'
  • Weather Conditions - Payson
Drive: From Phoenix, drive east on either State Highway 88 or US Highway 60 (to 88) to State Highway 288, on the southeast side of Lake Roosevelt. Drive north on 288 to Cherry Creek Road. Continue on State Highway 288 about 45 miles to Workman Creek Campground.
Description: There is a short, primitive, quarter-mile trail just south of Jack Mountain and just north of the bridge over Workman Creek. It is a simple, but moderately steep, scramble down a pine covered slope to the creek . You can pause and taste some delicious fruit at a patch of blackberry bushes on the left hand side of the trail. At the creek there are a series of small waterfalls that cascade over gray-basalt boulders and splash into the stepped pools known as the Wash Tubs, or just The Tubs for short. The sun refracting off the ribbons of water make a fine spot for picnicking or relaxing.
clip Trip Report

updated May 22, 2017