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West Webber Trail #228, AZ

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0 44 5
Guide 44 Triplogs  5 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Payson N
3.8 of 5 by 12
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 1.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,224 feet
Elevation Gain -1,461 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,498 feet
Avg Time One Way 1+ hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.89
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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14  2019-09-02
Webber Turkey Spring Loop
9  2019-07-06
Geronimo Turkey Milk
8  2019-06-08
Milk Ranch Point Loop
11  2019-06-08
Milk Ranch Point Loop
15  2019-04-17
Geronimo Turkey Milk
18  2019-04-10
Red Geronimo Milk
15  2018-09-01
Red Geronimo Milk East Pine Bear
4  2017-07-08
Milk Ranch Point Loop
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,834
Trips 4,261 map ( 21,471 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, May, Oct, Jun → NOON
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:13am - 6:24pm
Official Route
14 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Vigorous reflections of the soul
by joebartels

Likely In-Season!
1.9mi hike from Milk Ranch Point peninsula/mesa down 1460ft to Turkey Spring. Extremely good as-is or loop it up with plenty of other options!

Low Down
Here's a good ol' Payson hike sure to be enjoyed late summer through Autumn. Well that is if you've outgrown all the canyon-waterside teeny-bobber trashed-out party-zones. Sweet highlights include real Mogollon Rim hiking, rare shade in Arizona to a trickling creek. Whoa, sign me up!

The trailhead is somewhat obscured but isn't too difficult to locate. You immediately head into the forest to conquer the slightest hill rise before reaching the rim at 0.28mi. This is a very light-use trail that might be difficult to follow at night. Then again, with all the shade you really wouldn't want to hike here at night.

Heading down is steep but the trail is well cut with plenty of switchbacks. A knee to chest step is only encountered once or twice when ascending. The views are obscured for the most part by healthy pines. The shade allows maples and other vegetation to grow underneath you won't find on nearby Turkey Trail #217. Which is a better option for those in search of distant views.

After the switchbacks ease up you come to a post at 0.78mi. As of this writing there was no sign, just a post. The nice looking right isn't the option you want. Instead take a left for the continuation of West Webber #228 directly to Turkey Spring in 1.1mi.

The trail (as of this writing) immediately becomes more difficult to follow with forest debris. Soon you cross a creek which is fed by a tendered spring on the side of the mountain. I followed the water to it's source up the hill. Along the way I encountered an Arizona Mountain Kingsnake. It's the second I've encountered within a quarter mile so they must enjoy the habitat. No worries as they're nonvenomous and bolt upon sight. I crossed paths with an old piece of signage. It may have named the nearby spring but was too incomplete for me to decipher. The off-trail section up to the spring is covered in foot-deep decomposed trees and pine needles. The immediate area appears to have suffered a disease of some sort. Luckily it's not wide spread and appears to have ended five to ten years ago. Several dead skeletons still proved shade. Only one tree stands green in the entire area. It looks like a boxelder from my photos, I forgot to get a closer look and check it out.

Continuing on... The trail edges the creek several times and isn't far away when not on the edge. A quarter mile down from the spring area you pass over a small tributary. This is a mini oasis loaded with cutleaf coneflowers. Every time I see these flowers the stalks are covered in micro red bugs. They will dye your cloths/skin red if you brush up against the plant. There's a thick steel cable anchored over the ravine, with some old tubing a mess below. Apparently tapping the spring years ago. Soon you will find some very large Gambel Oaks and Bigtooth Maples. If you venture into the creek you might see some thick vascular horsetail.

The trail officially ends at the Turkey Spring trough. This is a dynamite out-n-back hike in the autumn or you have several looping options too.
(4.25 mile / 1630ft AEG) Milk Ranch spur lasso-loop: GPS Route
(5.17 mile / 1810ft AEG) Turkey Trail #217 loop: GPS Route / Map
Longer loop with Donahue & Highline: ???

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2007-08-23 joebartels
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One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent of 22 deeper Triplog Reviews
West Webber Trail #228
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Milk Ranch Point Loop
We started from Red Rock Springs TH and did this loop CCW, I have only done it the other way. Getting the Highline section done early was the aim. Humidity was certainly a factor during the earlier hours, though. Once we reached Geronimo the stream of trail runners would begin. We breaked along West Webber Creek, below Turkey Spring. Had a snack and replenished my water supply that dwindled surprisingly fast. The stroll through old Pine and Maples, dotted with raspberries along the creek, was it's usual delightful self. Before the climb up the rim, we stopped and chatted with some of the trail runners, and let them go ahead of us. The climb up on West Webber was enjoyable. Switch backs and shade was all we could ask for, and we would eventually catch the crew of runners and start down Donahue together after the brief road walk. Once on the lower, steeper reaches of Donahue and back on the Highline, it was getting warm. Thunder in the distance led to clouds overhead and a break from the sun. By the time we started back down on Red Rock Springs, the big drops started to fall and we would finish out in a downpour mixed with hail. Temps dropped about 20 degrees and we were soaked upon reaching the TH. The cool down was much appreciated. Had a great time in Rim Country today.
West Webber Trail #228
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Highline - Rim View Fail - Webber - Donahue
Bruce had a medium and large loop option. A hunter tricked us with a slew of coyote calls only 1.6 mi into the hike in the well groomed forest. The Highline/AZT rolled like a highway so I opted for the longer option with Rim View Trail.

Rim View Trail
Started off cool and looked promising. Tall stakes led the way. We went over a slick rock area. Then it got fuzzy in a ravine with lots of downfall. Around another bend and the stakes began to fade. Hanks route was getting into thicker stuff with small cairns. Backtracked a tad and searched out the stakes. They were taking us high up and nothing was looking promising. Bruce wanted to turn the ship around and my leg shouldn't be in this terrain yet so the decision to head back was easy.

West Webber Trail
Dreamy as always. Temps dropped into the low sixties and shade of the pines took over.

Only encountered 6 people. 1 hiker finishing as we started. 2 runners on #31. 2 camping near Geronimo. 1 camping at the Pine TH.

Mostly great temps, toasty midday. We'll get the Rim View Trail another day. Longer hike, not difficult.

Pacific Rose apples are bomb diggity! Had an October carmel apple feel, sans carmel... smooth, consistent flavored, pure joy, no regrets
West Webber Trail #228
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Milk Ranch Point Loop
Stepped out for one of my favorite Rim Country loops this a.m. Went clockwise, although I'd recommend CCW this time of year. Lots of rocky terrain today, aside from the recently cleared segment of Highline around the Donahue junction. #294 is like a mini Y-Bar. I'd forgotten how much I like Donahue. It offers a nice climb up the rim then flattens out through a pine forest before ending at MRP Rd. West Webber #228 is always the highlight of this loop. There's plenty of shade under those old growth Maple & Oak trees and a reliable water source in the creek. Raspberries are already gone, unfortunately. Spooked a large herd of elk on Geronimo and could later hear them calling to each other for several minutes, which was kind of cool. By the time I jumped on Highline, the 62 degrees I started in was now 90 degrees with nearly zero shade, as much of the Western Highline is. I ended up using a water bottle I picked up off the trail to collect water at Pine Spring to dump on my head. Finished up back at Red Rock Spring TH. Distance of this loop is slightly shorter now due to a Highline/Donahue re-route. Overall it's a great loop that allows you to sample a handful of trails while offering great views, diverse flora, abundant fauna & a lush shaded oasis along West Webber.
West Webber Trail #228
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Geronimo #240 to West Webber #228
Hiking with the youngster again this morning. Wanted something a little more kid friendly so I could get more milage out of him and then I remembered how much he enjoyed this one back in November. FRs 199, 64 & 440 are all in good shape and dry, aside from creek crossings (Bray @ 64 & Webber @ 440). Started at Geronimo TH and hiked Highline > Geronimo > Turkey Spring > up and across West Webber Creek > Milk Ranch Point West > Geronimo > Highline back to TH. Took a snack break along West Webber. Tons of water flowing from every creek and drainage possible. Tread was a mix of dry and mud with a few patches of snow. Got sprinkled on briefly but otherwise it was mostly overcast and warm. It was fairly green and looking like early spring until reaching West Webber Creek where it suddenly got gray and dreary, but we still enjoyed ourselves.
West Webber Trail #228
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Geronimo #240 to West Webber #228
First snow fall of the season so I had to take the youngster out for a walk in the woods. Figured this would be a good place for an easy hike that has a little fall foliage accompanied by snow. The sun was shining which made mid to high 30's feel warmer. The trees were shedding both ice and leaves and the melt fog was rising in spots. The trails were entirely mud with a few deeper snow pockets in shaded areas. Perfect for a 6yr old boy, I think he enjoyed the mud more than anything. We kept a slow but steady pace so I could keep an eye on him and take plenty of pics. West Webber was flowing with fresh melt but a lot of the fall foliage is now on the ground. The Rim was looking stunning with it's new coating in the sunshine. The eastern portion seemed to have a significant amount of snow. Despite being wet and muddy, he asked for a return trip to West Webber creek as soon as we arrived back at Geronimo TH.
West Webber Trail #228
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Milk Ranch Point Loop
Had to take advantage of great weather and hit one of my rim country favorites. It was a tad warmer than I anticipated but the clear, sunny skies made for great views. Every tank, spring and creek had more water present than my previous trip. Enjoyed a nutrition break along Webber Creek. It's still a little early for fall foliage down there and mostly green. Some of the younger Oaks and Maples next to the trail are starting to change. About 2 weeks from now the canyon will begin to light up with reds and yellows, I'll be sure to return then. I saw plenty of elk and even got close to a juvenile grazing near Geronimo. Other than the wildlife, I didn't see a soul on any of the trails all day.
West Webber Trail #228
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The forecast called for perfect weather to knock out a 20-miler. Cool temps and an early morning fog sitting over the rim gave this hike an autumn feel. I like the new route through Pine Canyon. East Rim Trail was it's usual sweat inducing self, although the soil and rocks seemed to be looser this time. I followed Joe's recent route through the locust forest atop MRP and found it much more pleasant than my previous trip. There was even something resembling a trail. There were quite a few hikers and backpackers, more numerous as I got closer to the Pine TH. About a mile West of Red Rock Spring a group of 6 young adults going the opposite direction stopped me to inquire about a spring that might be ahead. All but one was dressed in all black, none had on day packs & were only carrying a liter water bottle each. I informed them the spring was dry and they might want to consider turning around. Pine TH was packed upon my return, with fully automatic gunfire echoing through the canyon. Awesome hike and another beautiful day in Rim Country!

Oak leaves along West Webber Trail were starting to change.
West Webber Trail #228
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Milk Ranch Point Loop
Another late start, another warm hike. It was a sudden and unplanned trip so I went with a familiar loop. Although the extreme heat warning didn't extend to this region, it was by far my hottest rim country hike of the summer. Temps reached 95 degrees and there was no break from the sun. Heading up Donahue I questioned myself once or twice but knew that Webber Creek wasn't far and soon I'd be cooling off. I appreciated every morsel of shade. Once at the creek I found a nice little shaded pool and soaked in it while enjoying an extended nutrition/rehydration break. The creek was lined with coneflowers and columbines. I filtered 3 liters of water and drenched all of my clothes before leaving. I knew the very sun-exposed, mid-afternoon section of Highline I had awaiting me. By the time I reached Pine Spring, it looked like an oasis. Shade, tall green grass and although it's nothing more than a muddy seep covered in elk tracks, I was glad to have found water. Using an empty water bottle, I widened a small trench and funneled water into the bottle to pour over my head and soak my shemagh to keep wrapped around my head and neck. Certainly great views along this segment of Highline, but at the cost of being totally exposed to the sun. After Pine Spring I seemed to have found a 'second wind' and set a good pace I kept up with until I reached the Red Rock Spring TH finish. Overall it was an enjoyable hike. Physically my body responded to the stress of heat and sun better than I could've imagined (other than a few small sunburn spots). I drank 6 liters of water during the hike and was well hydrated before starting out, a decision that paid off well. Although I did hike on an empty stomach until reaching Webber Creek which was probably not a good idea. Didn't see much wildlife today, aside from a lone adolescent white tail. Encountered one other hiker about 1.5 miles in but that was it. Used Route Scout for the first time and all went well. I like that it keeps recording in background and the split stats for every mile. I used this feature as a reminder to slow down a little and not get overheated. I also liked that it notified me when my battery was getting low, cool feature. Hit THAT Brewery for a black bean burger and AZ Trail Ale immediately afterwards to replenish some much needed calories. Another good day in Rim country.
West Webber Trail #228
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Milk Ranch Point Loop
Took advantage of some awesome weather this A.M. and hit one of my favorite Rim Country loops. Started from Red Rock Springs TH (72 degrees) and went in a clockwise direction. Headed up Donahue and across Milk Ranch Rd. to West Webber and down to the creek. This is the most appealing section of this loop because of the lush green environment and the presence of water and wild berries. A group of 4 hikers passed me going the other way as I stopped to gather a handful of raspberries along the creek. I continued onto Turkey Spring before taking a side trail across the creek and meeting up with Geronimo. Next it was back onto Highline. Not my favorite section of this trail terrain wise but the views are great. There isn't much tree cover but the clouds had moved in by then and when coupled with the breeze made this segment of Highline rather enjoyable. Sometime before Pine Spring I spooked a rattler on the trail. Managed to snap a pic as it retreated under a rock. The rest of the hike was uneventful and the home stretch went by quickly. Beautiful day in Rim Country, great hike and all trails were clearly marked and in good shape except for the Red Rock Springs TH where both signs are currently missing.
West Webber Trail #228
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
The classic Ken loop. The hike is from Pine TH on the church girl side, over Milk Ranch Point to the bullet ricocheting boy scout side. Preston/Kingsnake recently noted many new switchbacks on #26. We stumbled upon yet another new set almost immediately. Without signage it's puzzling. Yet you can't get into too much trouble as you merge back repeatedly.

East Rim Trail is still a cool beast. Knowing what to expect it was over quick. A jungle of Locust greets the sweat drenched hiker upon reaching the rim. Joy. jj loves the blackberries and found some nice patches on Milk Ranch Point, the mesa. West Webber Trail #228 is among my favorites. The forest, tread and views are a divine treat in the summer.

jj likes to hit up the beginning of Geronimo Trail #240 where it crosses West Webber Creek for the blackberry festival. A bumper crop is underway. Looks at least two weeks to ripe. He found some bonus grapes. Despite being no where near ripe, he ate a handful... bleck

The Highline is not a trail I enjoy, I'd rather hike back over. We lucked out with nice weather. It was enjoyable with borderline stormy clouds blocking the death star.

Heading home we scoped out jj's retirement home then he downed a quart of salsa.

Carried 3.5 quarts water, consumed 2.

Today's hike was brought to us in part by Wild Bergamot. The largest patch I've seen of mintleaf.

Permit $$

Map Drive
FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

To hike
From Payson head up SR87 passing through the town of Pine. Continue PAST the turnoff for US-260. Turn right onto Rim Road and follow 0.1mi to right on 218A. Follow 218A 1.3mi to 218. Turn right on 218 and follow ~3.3mi to obscure trailhead.
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