azbackpackr wrote:FYI I think they just did start campfire restrictions--no campfires allowed.
dgeralsh wrote:Since everyone here really knows the best areas are there any suggestions of a better place (considering our experience, nighttime temperature, crowds, rules, beauty, etc)?
azbackpackr wrote:The "trail" from Chevelon Crossing car campground is not really an official trail, but is easy to follow for the first mile or so. After that, the trail is intermittent, but it is impossible to get lost as you are just following the creek. There is no fee for parking. There may not even be a fee to car camp at the trailhead. Black Mesa Ranger District is the overseeing agency: 928-535-4481. They will be able to tell you if there is a fee to car camp. However, I wouldn't bother asking them much more than that, since they have achieved some questionable notoriety over the years amongst backpackers as being a completely clueless bunch of folks answering the phones. Questions such as "will there be water there?" will not be answered correctly, if at all, by that office. There will be water there, I can tell you that much. It does vary year to year, but there will be water.
The turnoff for the forest service road is just before you get to Heber, so however far Payson is from Heber. And as I recall, it is 13 miles or so of graded gravel road from State Route 260 to Chevelon Crossing.
There are other ways to access Chevelon Canyon, since it is 40 miles long, but I described the part I have been to.
Grasshopper wrote:dgeralsh wrote:Since everyone here really knows the best areas are there any suggestions of a better place (considering our experience, nighttime temperature, crowds, rules, beauty, etc)?
How did you decide on the the Pine TH for your 1st AZ backpack trip? This Pine TH is a very popular day hiking TH, but I don't think as popular for backpacking in from unless you are planning an AZ Highline Trail segment (51 mls). Others may disagree, but as Tough_Boots recommends, Chevalon Canyon will work and I would also recommend another nice one (with also some recent trip logs and pic sets to review) Babe Haught Trail #143 .. http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=815 . This moderate backpack takes you up to a higher altitude at a very nice lake (Knoll Lake) with a limited number of first come, free, primitive campsites at trail end and water to filter from the lake. It is a beautiful area and will be full of people on Memorial Day weekend, but most all locations around Payson/Pine/Strawberry will be.
Also up the same road--> From Payson take 260 East for 16 miles to FR289 which is Tonto Creek Road. Turn left on to FR289 (before reaching the nice TH-Parking area for this Babe Haught Trail #143 is another sure bet for a first time backpack in AZ out of the Payson area.. Horton Creek Trail.. http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=62 (read the hike desc/trip logs/pic sets).. Horton Creek area (just off trail for camping by the perennial creek) and gushing Horton Spring further up at tail end are always favorites and there will be a lot of people here too on Memorial Day weekend to keep you two company!
Have fun whatever you two decide to do and
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