Back in 1995, we bought a book supposedly detailing some streamside trails in Arizona. We had occasion in mid-February to check out the so-called 'Flowing Springs CG' trail. As far as we can tell, there is no such trail. The book says to continue three miles away from Highway 87 before reaching the trailhead. We were bullheaded enough to follow these insane directions. It's a miracle we weren't shot. We were yelled at and verbally abused by various old men at the end of a Dead End road. Our advice is to believe the signs, which say it's a Dead End road. The signs don't lie! Anyway, we went to the Payson Library and tried to find the 'Flowing Springs CG' trail on this website BEFORE we went out and got our daily dose of abuse. We are posting this pseudo trail description solely for the purpose of saving some other unsuspecting rubes from suffering the same slings and arrows of outrageous verbal abuse that we suffered.
As far as we can tell, the so-called trail does not exist. We think there is a primitive pathway along the East Verde River, which approximates the rough equivalent of a 'trail.' You can reach this area by turning on the Flowing Springs Road North of Payson about 5 miles and righly one-half mile before reaching the East Verde River. Turn east on the Flowing Springs Road and travel seven tenths of a mile until you reach a pseudo campground on your left. The only way to tell it is a campground is by the sign, which states, '14 Day camping limit strictly enforced!' Otherwise, there's nothing except for the broken-glass-laden-charcoal-darkened fire rings to tell that it is a so-called campground. Pull into this area and walk down toward the East Verde River. You will soon see a small pathway, definitely not a trail in the traditional sense, meandering downstream on the South side of the East Verde. This is apparently the trail. It travels about sixth tenths of a mile to Highway 87. Another alternative would be to park next to Highway 87 and walk sixth tenths of a mile upstream until you encountered profuse amounts of broken glass and charcoal-darkened fire rings. As far as we can tell, there is no such thing as a Flowing Springs CG Trail. We think this so-called walk would be valuable only for someone simply passing by on the highspeed highway. This might be a welcome relief in a long journey between Phoenix and Winslow. Otherwise, we think your time would be better spent browsing the deli at the Payson Wal-Mart Super center.
Like we said, this note is posted only to help the unsuspecting avoid the same frustrating experience we had there on February 13, 2002.
Forest Tonto Pass is a forest wide permit for recreational sites and campgrounds. Typically not for trailheads.
To hike Approximately three miles east on FR622 off of SR87. FR622 is just after mile marker 257.
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