Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Cypress-Boulders Loop Day Hike
when Trip Report : April 8, 2022
where Payson
the hike     The Cypress-Boulders Loop is part of the Payson Area Trails System (PATS). This scenic loop hike takes us through the eroded granite formations of Payson’s Granite Dells. PATS includes both urban and Tonto National Forest trails (and will include future trails). Though this loop hike is very close to town (the town of Payson, that is), it is in the Tonto National Forest, so you get both the convenience of being near town and a wilderness experience!
    Now is the time to hike this loop, as we may still see running water alongside many parts of the trail, and enjoy several small water crossings! If there has been a recent rainfall, there may be parts that are a bit trickier to cross, otherwise it is not a big deal. So your boots may get at least a little bit wet here and there, fyi.
    The Cypress trail follows the winding course of seasonal Stewart Creek downstream. Once at the Boulders trails, we will do the loop in a counter clockwise direction. While along Boulders South trail, Gibson Peak’s rugged facade towers high above to the south. Along the route, there are stands of Ponderosa Pine, Rocky Mountain juniper and Arizona Cypress, as well as some open, boulder-studded fields, so we will have both sun and shade along the route.
    The trail ranges from easy to moderate, a mostly crushed gravel trail bed with sections of large slabs of granite here and there. There are a lot of undulating ups and downs, many of them minor, but also a few short but fairly steep sections. Some are a bit slippery (due to pea-sized gravel acting as ball bearings), so hiking poles are recommended for these sections.
    We will pay close attention to the trail signs as well as AllTrails to stay on the right route, as there are many social trails in the area.
    Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, hiking poles, hat, and snacks—the usual gear.
distance 5.6 miles
time 4 hours
EC 600' elevation change
elevations 4,560' (Boulders South & North jct) – 4,800' (Cypress Trailhead)
type Lollipop Loop
starting at Cypress Trailhead
on trail 100%
rating "C"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost Sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
weather Payson
meet Meet at the Fountain Hills Target at 7 AM. Park in aisle parallel to Shea Blvd., closest to the street.
•  Right on Shea. Left (north) on AZ-87. Go 60.7 miles to Payson.
Turn right onto E. Phoenix Street (just before the Circle K), and take that street to its end (about 2.3 miles) at the cul-de-sac.
There are no trailhead signs, and no restrooms, so I recommend making your restroom stop at the Circle K (at corner of AZ-87 and E. Phoenix St).

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updated April 12, 2022 © Copyright 2022, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.