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Stewart Ridge - Payson, AZ

Guide 8 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4.3 of 5 
no permit
126 8 0
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,071 feet
Elevation Gain 544 feet
Accumulated Gain 845 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.43
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Ruins, Historic & Peak
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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8  2020-10-21 guyinthewoods
5  2016-02-23
Gibson Peak Loop
9  2016-01-21
Gibson Peak Loop
15  2014-10-26
Gibson Peak Loop
47  2014-05-08
Gibson Peak Loop
30  2013-08-21
Round Valley Large Loop
12  2011-10-07 donqcryer
Author donqcryer
author avatar Guides 8
Routes 15
Photos 237
Trips 44 map ( 256 miles )
Age 72 Male Gender
Location Payson, AZ & Corpus Christi,
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → 6 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:11am - 6:26pm
Official Route
4 Alternative

360 degree vistas!
by donqcryer

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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 ridgeline/hilltops and ends at a high rock outcropping, which might be Payson's best 360 views. 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 downhill, 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 with 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 two 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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    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
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