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Snowshoeing Payson-Happy Jack or Payson-Heber area

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Abuelo
Lil' Kokopelli
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 19 2004 7:48 pm
Location: AZ - East Valley / TN - Mtns. / NC - Coast

Snowshoeing Payson-Happy Jack or Payson-Heber area

Postby Abuelo » Feb 23 2010 12:23 pm

Staying in east valley. Looking for places to snowshoe which would be possible day trips from the valley. Wondering about the M-Rim between Payson - Happy Jack or Payson - Heber areas. Anyone know of trails 1 - 5 miles in length which might be suitable for snowshoeing? Have been west of there to Greer, Hannagan, etc. But those are 4 hour+ drives. Thinking drive to P-HJ-H area will be close to 3 hour drive.

Thanks.
Abuelo

Be kind. Every person you meet is fighting a great battle.
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IMO -If you're not getting out and hiking in the rain you're missing the desert at it's best.

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chumley
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Re: Snowshoeing Payson-Happy Jack or Payson-Heber area

Postby chumley » Feb 23 2010 12:37 pm

Anywhere up on the Mogollon Rim is great right now. The Rim Road (FR300) is closed, but I'm pretty sure the parking area at Hwy 260 is open, so you can use it as a trailhead. There's between 3 and 5 feet of snow on the ground depending on exactly where you are. (With a storm predicted for Saturday and Sunday, so keep the forecast close).

There's some nice views and relatively easy-going on the Rim Lakes Vista trail, and if you want to push the mileage a bit, hike the Meadow Trail down to Woods Canyon Lake.

The General George Crook Trail leads from the parking lot toward Woods Canyon Lake, but parallels FR300 about 1/4 mile to the north. Its an old roadbed, so its easy to follow.

The negative is that you may encounter some snowmobile traffic (especially on weekends).

Another option from that parking area is to head on the old road northeast to Willow Springs Lake, and hike around (or across ... its plenty frozen) the lake. There's not always a specific trail to follow, but it's a nice place to spend a couple of hours these days.

From the East Valley, I can get to the Hwy 260/FR 300 parking lot in under 2 hours, but I would plan on 2 to 2:30 if you're not familiar with the trip. Its about 29 miles east of Payson.
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BobP
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Re: Snowshoeing Payson-Happy Jack or Payson-Heber area

Postby BobP » Feb 23 2010 1:33 pm

Here are some goofy vids I took snowshoeing... the first two are from the Tonto fish hatchery area east of payson the third is Flagg before the big storms. The snow was melting pretty fast on the Horton trail between weeks. When are you going?

2 weeks ago http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFX1rrZ5UPI
last week http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FojtIkKrl-o
last month http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpYXawSgSIM

Warning if you watch these vids....you will never get that time back. Some of the "humor" is well...uhm...ahhhh. ;)

Chumley has some good advice in his post.
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pickelltree
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Re: Snowshoeing Payson-Happy Jack or Payson-Heber area

Postby pickelltree » Feb 24 2010 9:54 am

i have been up snowshoe 3 times so far this year. once i was in flag, humphrey and red mtn. next, the weekend of the big snow i parked along the road about 3 miles to clints well and just followed the road for a bit. the place i park was in a hole that i stopped and dug out of the snowbank myself, i dought it is still there, but you can park along that road past where the 260 breaks off in a spot where the snowplows turn around, just park right along the side.

during that trip i wonder around in my jeep, and there is a control road just before pine that gets plowed, it might still be some snow, but i made it in a jeep. i think you can get to germono camp or just back in the woods and go mess around.

this last trip was with rlrjamy and we hike around the fish hactary one day than the next day i went up see canyon to fr 300. we build a snow man up there, i will post pictures.

snowshowing is not easy going up hill, but on the way down sliding on your butt is worth the effort.

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azbackpackr
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Re: Snowshoeing Payson-Happy Jack or Payson-Heber area

Postby azbackpackr » Feb 24 2010 1:36 pm

Just FYI, it is illegal to park alongside a highway that has been plowed, if the plow has not made an obvious parking area. You will be ticketed. From what I hear, ADOT is getting tired of vehicles being in the way of the snowplow, and now DPS is going to be more proactive in the ticketing.
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chumley
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Re: Snowshoeing Payson-Happy Jack or Payson-Heber area

Postby chumley » Feb 24 2010 2:07 pm

Hwy 87 between Strawberry and Clints Well is of particular focus this winter for road-side parking enforcement due to the area closure at Cinch Hook (JCT 87 and 260). Don't think of parking near there!
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pickelltree
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Re: Snowshoeing Payson-Happy Jack or Payson-Heber area

Postby pickelltree » Feb 25 2010 8:26 am

i spent the night out there that weekend, i believe they didn't bother me because i had dug into the snowbank enough so that i was not in the way of the snow plow. they slowed down and look at me repeatedly mouthing the words, "your crazy" but never bothered me. and for parking at the turn around spot for the plows, i only suggest this because a DPS officer suggested that to me that weekend. but i agree, don't park where you will be in a snow plows way and if you do dig in be prepared to dig out, the snow plows had covered my jeep pretty good by the morning.

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toddak
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Re: Snowshoeing Payson-Happy Jack or Payson-Heber area

Postby toddak » Feb 25 2010 5:19 pm

They've been pretty good lately about plowing the small parking lot on the west side of Hwy 87 at mile post 285 (a few miles south of Clints Well). This gives access to FR142 and the area around Clover and Toms Creeks - I laid down some nice tracks in there just a few days ago.


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