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So I did a search and the best I could find was a bit from 2 years ago. I am curious about the riding in the payson area or at least an hour around it. I usually ride SOMO, National trail etc. but am not opposed to a Desert Classic or Hawesesque ride. Any info would be much appreciated. I went hiking there this weekend and realized I had only ridden in an MBAA race and a 24 hour race 14 years ago. Must've changed since then.
 

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So I did a search and the best I could find was a bit from 2 years ago. I am curious about the riding in the payson area or at least an hour around it. I usually ride SOMO, National trail etc. but am not opposed to a Desert Classic or Hawesesque ride. Any info would be much appreciated. I went hiking there this weekend and realized I had only ridden in an MBAA race and a 24 hour race 14 years ago. Must've changed since then.
Highline Trail from Two Sixty TH going west to See Cyn. Very XC with views. It goes all the way to Pine but after about the Fish Hatchery it gets less pedal friendly. Another is Gold Ridge down by Jake's Corner. Kind of a PITA to get to, but a sweet feature with a cool 6-mi drop. I thought both were good enough for a repeat. Both on Trailforks.
 

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The 200 trail is a super fun loop with tons of natural features to session as long as you have a creative eye and that can be found in town at the end of Phoenix rd. Peach Orchid is a dual track / fire road that is nice if you just want to put wheels on dirt. Good climb and a wide sloppy decent. You have Horton Creek which is East on the 260 and is a super fun out and back but can be PACKED with hikers. You have the 260 trail head further East which is a primarily XC but very fun in my opinion. I’ve heard good things about the stuff on top of the rim such as Cabin Loops but I believe it’s more scenic than anything. I know Highline has gotten a lot of love recently (specifically from Washington Park heading east to Myrtle but it can be some rough country with downed trees and a decent amount of hike a bike.) Pine Canyon is obviously North on the 87 and is fun / challenging and you can tie it in with multiple surrounding trails. Gold Ridge #47 is south on the 87 across from the turn to Lake Roosevelt. I went directly up the trail which requires a lot of hiking but is that fastest / shortest way to the top without shuttling / climbing the fire road, however the downhill is the funnest I’ve ever experienced (coming from someone who is frequently riding national, Geronimo, and mine) Hope that helps I can dive deeper on any trails you are curious about!
 

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0. You can clean the entire thing if you climb SoMo / Hawes. I’d recommend starting from connector and going counter clockwise. Be sure to take a right on the 200 Extension. It can be easily missed as the trail feeds you into a left turn that leads downhill.
 

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.... Pine Canyon is obviously North on the 87 and is fun ...
I almost hate to publicize Pine and make it crowded (especially now in 2020 with COVID concerns)
but this is one of my favorite loops in all of Arizona:
https://www.strava.com/activities/2381341746

Parking at the Pine trailhead South of town (or THAT brewery, or Old Country Inn), and ride up to Hardscrabble (sucky pavement, but it's a necessary evil.)

Ride up Hardscrabble road to the #15 Pine-Strawberry trail and take it north to its end at hwy 87/260

Cross the pavement and catch Barefoot trail about 100 yds east, take it until it dead ends at the bridge and T-intersects with Pine Cyn #26.

South on #26 back to the Pine trailhead.

Extra credit for a side-loop on Pine View and Upper Pine view.

24 miles, 3500' of climbing. All of it cleanable on a singlespeed, but not boring, and really just an awesome ride.
 

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I almost hate to publicize Pine and make it crowded (especially now in 2020 with COVID concerns)
but this is one of my favorite loops in all of Arizona:
https://www.strava.com/activities/2381341746

Parking at the Pine trailhead South of town (or THAT brewery, or Old Country Inn), and ride up to Hardscrabble (sucky pavement, but it's a necessary evil.)

Ride up Hardscrabble road to the #15 Pine-Strawberry trail and take it north to its end at hwy 87/260

Cross the pavement and catch Barefoot trail about 100 yds east, take it until it dead ends at the bridge and T-intersects with Pine Cyn #26.

South on #26 back to the Pine trailhead.

Extra credit for a side-loop on Pine View and Upper Pine view.

24 miles, 3500' of climbing. All of it cleanable on a singlespeed, but not boring, and really just an awesome ride.
I have done Bearfoot to Pine Canyon and felt like it was more climbing than descending but we pulled off at Good Enough because the ride ended up going longer than expected. Might have to give this one a run when the legs are feeling good!
 

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I have done Bearfoot to Pine Canyon and felt like it was more climbing than descending but we pulled off at Good Enough because the ride ended up going longer than expected. Might have to give this one a run when the legs are feeling good!
It is more up than down, but really, the climbing isn't ever miserable, and it comes in little punches between fun downhills. Barefoot is one of my favorite sections of the loop.
The first 3/4 of that whole loop is mostly all "punches" of manageable climbing, with little roller-coaster downhills. The payoff, is that once you get to the 16-17 mile mark (depending on where you parked) and top out just under the rim (6300'), the last 7-8 miles is nearly ALL DOWNHILL, 1000 vertical feet to the Pine TH or brewery.
 

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I did The Boulder loop and 200 I think too. Lots of fun, kind of like Prescott Dells, lots of line-options and stuff to play around on. Parents have a place in Payson, so definitely interested on the trail options.
 

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Thank god for trail forks. I rode the 200 this weekend and every time I thought I was not on the right trail it lead me back to where I needed to be. Good trail. I should have done 2-3 laps as I got done in about an hour and a half with searching. I will be back again. I need to find someone local for the next try on another trail. Or I could just go find them myself. Not too far of a drive anyway, and not the stress fest that is the 17.
 

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Haha yeah it's super easy to lose the trail as there are random little shoot offs for hiking and maybe projects that were never finished. Once you get the layout down though it is a good one to lap. The other trails I mentioned below are worth the drive in my opinion as well!
 

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If you’re in Payson, a short trip up 87 to get to cabin loop is really worth it. Almost no traffic, bike wise, and few hikers. Easy to put together 30 miles with a mix of rolling through ferns, technical climbing, fun descending and even sone water crossings.

You can also access the Blue Ridge section of the AZT.

And its cooler!
 

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Nice However all the tonto forest was closed as of 6am on july 2nd -july31st due to stage 3 fire restrictions.
 

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Nice However all the tonto forest was closed as of 6am on july 2nd -july31st due to stage 3 fire restrictions.
Yes, it was. I made it just in time before the upper parking lot closed. The lower parking lot was closed but the rangers and police were so nice to me and my shuttle driver.

Thanks Payson, AZ. I don't know when I'll be back but I will cherish that trail for years to come. I saw only 2 people on the whole trail. Yeeeew! :thumbsup:
 

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Went up Derricks, then East to 260 trailhead, then back and a little longer to take the Horton Springs/Creek trail back. That part was especially nice, although a bit of hike a bike in between Derricks and Horton. All in all a great ride though. 34 miles. Much better than yesterday’s ride on Los Burros and other WM trails.
 

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Anybody got any intel on how the AZT section of Highline is currently? Overgrown? Blown out? Excellente?
Based on history: Difficult. Very. Overgown? Possibly. Blown out? A few sections are. Excellente? No. I like a good challenge, but this is a different beast. It'll be great someday, today isn't that day.
 
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