Short, steep and lonely
Overview: Lone Mountain is in the general Sycamore Creek area just west of SR87 as you head north to Payson. While Lone Mountain is not really all by its lonesome, but it does seem like a lonely looking peak as you drive by on FR1096. There isn't anything special about it but it was 'one more peak to climb' so that's all it took to be worthy for me. That said, once at the summit the views are great. You can see Granite Mountain to the north, Four Peaks to the east and Sheep Mesa as well as the Sycamore Creek valley to the southeast and south.
Hike: From the 'trail head' wherever you park along FR1096 it's just a matter of picking the best route between the various cacti and thorn bushes, climbing all the way to the summit. BTW, you'll pick up tons of fox-tail in your shoes/socks along the way, so I'd recommend wearing bare feet in Teva sandals. For me the STEEP climb was strenuous but easier on the knees than the STEEP return downhill.
The drive will take as much as 4 times as long as the climb to the summit so once at the summit you might want to cast an eye around for another goal to make the trip worthwhile. Sheep Mesa just to the east would be a great partner hike to this one.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.