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Payson Area trails system (PATS) is an in-process interconnecting trail system. They will be using roads, sidewalks, existing forest trails and roads as well as new trails. Some of the trails are outside the city limits of the Town of Payson, and some go thru town. Some of the trails are complete, and others are a work in progress.
The Peach Orchard Trail starts in town near the Payson Golf Course. It follows along a forest road for most of the way or small ATV roads. This may be a trail that could have traffic in the form of people, horses, ATV's, bikes, and even 4X4's. It leaves behind some houses across from the Golf Course. There is a gate that you go thru and park just on the other side. The trailhead sign is at the gate. Then follow the road up the hill to the top of the first rise. You will see the turn off for the Peach Loop. The trail is marked very well with signs, so it is easy not to get lost. Now you will drop down into a valley.
There are excellent views of the Matzatzal mountains to the southwest. And lots of vegetation with pinon trees, junipers, scrub oaks, manzanita bushes, cacti of all kinds. They have been clearing some of the brush and trees for a fire break around the town of Payson. Follow the road down past the Peach Loop trail connection on down the road some more. You cross a cattle guard that has been almost all filled in with dirt. Just a little past this, the trail takes off from the road as a small trail, but it is marked here. There the trail goes into a creek bed that looks like it is dry most of the time. It winds thru the creek until you get to some Cottonwood trees. This is where you pick up a forest road. Here it looks like it could have water sometimes. It has some lovely mature cottonwoods and lots of shade. Then the road climbs up the hills up to the Payson Event Center. Another junction where the trail takes off from the road is a very steep and rocky trail. Here it would be difficult for a mountain bike. You climb up out of the valley to the hills near the Event Center. On the way, you can see where there has been some prospecting and mining in the area. You pass an old ruin of some miners' place. All that is left are some walls. And then up the rocky trail some more. You top off at the top of the hill, and then it is a smooth walk down to the end of the trail. One more junction off the road that the trail had become before you end up at another metal gate. Here is the end of the trail.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.
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.