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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Gold Ridge Trail #47, AZ

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157 26 1
Description 26 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Payson W
Rated
3.4
3.4 of 5 by 11
 
0
Statistics
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 5.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,400 feet
Elevation Gain 2,700 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,820 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 14.9
Backpack Possible & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
Inaugural Calculation next Tap
6  2018-08-18
South Fork - Gold Ridge Loop
rehlers
8  2018-02-22
South Fork - Gold Ridge Loop
DixieFlyer
5  2017-09-23
Gold Ridge - Mount Peeley
The_N
14  2017-07-08
South Fork - Gold Ridge Loop
jacobemerick
30  2017-05-20
Deer Creek Loop
jacobemerick
6  2017-03-11
South Fork - Gold Ridge Loop
chumley
9  2016-11-20
South Fork - Gold Ridge Loop
The_N
8  2016-04-23 hikerdw
Page 1,  2
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov
Sun  6:30am - 5:53pm
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Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Deer Creek Trail #45
0.2 mi away
8.6 mi
2,586 ft
South Fork Trail #46
0.2 mi away
5.6 mi
2,808 ft
South Fork - Gold Ridge Loop
0.2 mi away
13.1 mi
2,920 ft
Jake's Corner Ruin
3.6 mi away
1.0 mi
261 ft
Shake Tree Canyon
4.0 mi away
5.0 mi
3,000 ft
Camp Grasshopper - Mazatzal Main C/Site
4.3 mi away
8.8 mi
2,105 ft
Del Shay Trail #41
4.3 mi away
6.4 mi
2,817 ft
North Fork Falls of Deadman Canyon
4.7 mi away
18.0 mi
3,169 ft
Barnhardt - Sandy Saddle Loop
4.7 mi away
15.0 mi
4,735 ft
Barnhardt Canyon
4.7 mi away
6.0 mi
2,000 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Quick Climb to Mazatzal Heights
by jacobemerick

Likely In-Season!
Overview
Of the three trails that start from Deer Creek Trailhead, Gold Ridge Trail is the only one that stays out of a heavily vegetated (and often difficult to follow) creek and does not cross into the Mazatzal Wilderness. This trail is mostly on an exposed ridge, follows an old road for part of the way, and isn't technically closed to wheeled / motorized traffic, making it one of the more passable routes in the area. It can be combined with South Fork Trail for a solid loop or Deer Creek Trail for longer adventures.


Hike
From Deer Creek Trailhead, head down South Fork Trail about 0.4 miles to the start of Gold Ridge Trail. There is a trail sign here, plus a well-trod path and helpful cairns to guide you through a grassy pasture. Good chance there'll be some cattle roaming around here as well. At 1.0 miles there is a gate to pass through - please make sure to close it behind you - and then the climb begins.

Over the next mile and a half the ridge gains 1400', with few switchbacks or breaks to ease the way. There are some sections of loose rock, too, to up the difficulty a bit. Vegetation is mostly low manzanita that does little to block the sun yet does provide some good views to distract from the climb. At the top of this section there is a morale-boosting view back down to the trailhead.

There is still elevation to gain, though now it is done in a more gentle manner. The trail winds around some hills and crosses some saddles and slowly gains ground. At 3.0 miles the trail takes advantage of an old road and becomes much easier to walk on. More views began to open up, including some great angles of the Mazatzal Mountains in the north and a few brief glimpses of Mt Ord / Four Peaks / Roosevelt Lake to the south. Eventually the trail swings up a small hill and ends on FR 3348. Turn right on the road to connect with FR 201 and other trails along it.

Water Sources
None on the trail. Pigeon Spring is the closest, over on South Fork.

Camping
There is a fantastic car-camp site at the top of Gold Ridge Trail, as well as some additional flats along FR 3348.

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.

jacobemerick

    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.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    To Deer Creek Trailhead:

    Take AZ-87 to Deer Creek Trailhead, which is located directly across from AZ-88 intersection. Trailhead is a basic lasso structure, just park along the side where there is space. Cattle may be grazing nearby / on the dirt lot.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 70mi 1h 10m
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 170mi 2h 40m
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 110mi 2h 10m
    page created by joebartels on Oct 03 2017 3:53 pm
    help comment issue

    end of page marker