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Stewart Ridge - Payson, AZ

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12 7 0
Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Payson S
Rated
4.5
4.5 of 5 by 2
 
1
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
Statistics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,071 feet
Elevation Gain 505 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.23
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Ruins, Historic & Peak
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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5  2016-02-23
Gibson Peak Loop
The_N
9  2016-01-21
Gibson Peak Loop
The_N
15  2014-10-26
Gibson Peak Loop
mazatzal
47  2014-05-08
Gibson Peak Loop
kingsnake
30  2013-08-21
Round Valley Large Loop
kingsnake
12  2011-10-07 donqcryer
Author donqcryer
author avatar Guides 7
Routes 13
Photos 180
Trips 30 map ( 168 miles )
Age 70 Male Gender
Location Payson, AZ & Corpus Christi,
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → 6 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:10am - 6:28pm
Official Route
 
4 Alternative
 
Water
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
360 degree vistas!
by donqcryer

This hike starts at either the E Phoenix Street & Promontory Way Trailhead or PAT's Round Valley trailhead on S Gibson Ct (off of Phoenix Str).


It hikes along the ridge line / hill tops and ends at a high rock outcropping which might be the best 360 views in Payson. Over the past few years, this hike has become popular and what was somewhat of a bushwhack following the ridge crest, is now a well established trail from either Gibson TH or the trail intersection with PAT's Round Valley Trail at the saddle.

There are 4 or 5 mini peaks depending on your count before getting to the final peak lookout. The GPS track uses part of "Phoenix Street Loop - Payson" to circumvent the first up and down hill, turning left on PATS Round Valley to the saddle, then turning right and 'head for the hills!' Or if you want to have calf burn from the get-go, head straight for the first hill to your east after entering National Forest land. This first 'hill' is the steepest of all the ascents. Accessing from S Gibson CT Trailhead can follow the PAT Round Valley trailhead up to the saddle, and taking a hard left on the trail, or take the "Stewart Pocket - Phx St / Gibson Ct PAT TH" trail to its highest point and look for the intersecting trail going further up on your right.

The destination has rock climbing opportunities and long straight-down 'the end' falls. All sweat equity is rewarded by unbelievable views, sunrises and sunsets. Throw in red rock, marble and travertine outcroppings, and a Native American look-out and what more could one ask? This last peak / hill is also at the end of the fire break. Though 2 more peaks (including the highest - Stewart Peak) loom before Hells Gate, proceeding by bushwhacking can be somewhat futile unless wearing leather chaps - if the cactus doesn't get you, the Cat's Claw will! Others seem to have found ways to those peaks without much trouble, so it may just depend on one's bushwhacking skills.

Updated 2017-05-19

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2011-10-08 donqcryer
    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 Triplog Reviews
    Stewart Ridge - Payson
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    What used to be somewhat of a bushwhack roughly following the ridge line, has now become a well established trail due to the a much heavier use in recent years. Well justified. The 360 deg views are some of the best in the area. The Stewart Ridge can be reached from 2 trailheads, either Phoenix Street at Promontory Way or PAT Round Valley trailhead at Gibson Court.

    Wildflowers
    still some good spring flowers
    Stewart Ridge - Payson
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Snuck in an afternoon hike up Gibson under sunny skies and temps in the 50s. There is some new 'trail' work along the footpath that ends atop hill 5502. Took a slightly different route up the ridge (off-trail) which only required me to cross the old fence one time. I have to admit, the trip up the ridge was not an enjoyable one today. Maybe I just want in the mood to be scratched, poked and jabbed with every other step. I was happy to reach the summit, sign the register and start the trek back. I picked up the pace on the return. Saw a few varieties of Wildflowers, lizards, 6 elk and lots of birds. The crows were surfing the wind as it broke over Stewart Ridge. Didn't have any allergies today despite literally breathing in and being covered by Juniper and other pollens. Tanks are still full to the max. Once again, had the place to myself.

    Wildflowers
    Some blooms in the lower elevations.
    Stewart Ridge - Payson
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    What a beautiful day for this hike. It felt like spring with all the sunshine, mud, running streams and the emergence of bugs, grasses and small ferns. Both tanks are full beyond max. The first (and last) mile was entirely mud with a few ice spots in the shade. Temps in the 50s made it possible to be in shorts and a t-shirt again. Despite all the deer signs, I didn't encounter a single deer or elk, just lots of birds. Had the ridge all to myself again.
    Stewart Ridge - Payson
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This hike starts at E Phoenix Str & Promontory Way and hikes along the ridge line / hill tops and ends at a high rock outcropping with might be the best 360 views in Payson. There is no trail per se, though my repeated hiking has worn a weak track which has been reinforced by deer & elk. Just head for the next hill top (there are 4 or 5 depending on your count!) The GPS track uses part of "Phoenix Street Loop - Payson" to circumvent the first up and down hill, turning left on PATS Round Valley to the saddle, then turning right and 'head for the hills!' The destination has rock climbing opportunities and long straight-down 'the end' falls. All sweat equity is rewarded by unbelievable views, sunrises and sunsets. Throw in red rock, marble and travertine outcroppings, and a Native American look-out and what more could one ask? This last peak / hill is also at the end of the fire break. Though 2 more peaks loom before Hells Gate, proceeding is somewhat futile unless wearing leather chaps - if the cactus doesn't get you, the Cat's Claw will!

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Phoenix / Promontory Trailhead
    From AZ 87 Beeline Highway, in Payson, east on E Phoenix Street, up over hill until intersection with Promontory Way by water tank. Trailhead on south side behind barricaded gravel street-to-be.
    page created by donqcryer on Oct 08 2011 9:49 am
    2+ mi range whistle
    blow it like you mean it
    help comment issue

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