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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.

Boulders Loop Trail - PATS, AZ

no permit
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Guide 28 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Payson S
3.7 of 5 by 11
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 2.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,561 feet
Elevation Gain 200 feet
Accumulated Gain 300 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.2
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
Inaugural Calculation next Tap
3  2016-08-26 jtaylor
13  2016-03-31 outdoor_lover
10  2016-02-28
Stewart Pocket Loop Payson
6  2015-08-03
Stewart Pocket Loop Payson
5  2015-04-05
Stewart Pocket Loop Payson
22  2014-09-11
Monument Peak Loop - PATS
1  2014-07-19 ssk44
8  2014-04-20
Stewart Pocket Loop Payson
Page 1,  2
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:57am - 5:22pm
Route Scout App
Official Route
3 Linked
Nearby Area Water
Monument Peak Loop - PATS
Monument Peak Loop - PATS
0.4 mi away
3.2 mi
190 ft
Cypress Trail - PATS
Cypress Trail - PATS
1.5 mi away
2.2 mi
240 ft
Stewart Pocket - Balanced Rock Loop
Stewart Pocket - Balanced Rock Loop
1.7 mi away
4.4 mi
795 ft
Stewart Pocket - South Loop
Stewart Pocket - South Loop
1.8 mi away
2.3 mi
511 ft
Stewart Pocket Loop Payson
Stewart Pocket Loop Payson
1.8 mi away
4.6 mi
294 ft
Payson to Round Valley Loop
Payson to Round Valley Loop
2.3 mi away
6.0 mi
918 ft
Stewart Pocket - Phx St / Gibson Ct PAT TH
Stewart Pocket - Phx St / Gibson Ct PAT TH
2.4 mi away
2.5 mi
448 ft
Gibson Peak Loop
Gibson Peak Loop
2.9 mi away
8.6 mi
2,213 ft
Phoenix Street Loop - Payson
Phoenix Street Loop - Payson
2.9 mi away
3.5 mi
381 ft
Stewart Ridge - Payson
Stewart Ridge - Payson
2.9 mi away
2.7 mi
505 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
The big attraction in Stewart's Pocket
by PrestonSands

Likely In-Season!
Note: FR #435 is currently blocked about 1/4 mi from the "Boulders Trail" sign. This will add to the posted distance.

This loop hike is made up of the Boulders North Trail and the Boulders South Trail, collectively known as the Boulders Loop Trail. Now a part of the Payson Area Trails System or P.A.T.S., this scenic loop hike takes one through the eroded granite formations of Payson's Granite Dells. This description is of a clockwise hike. Pay close attention to the P.A.T.S. trail signs to avoid taking a wrong turn onto one of the area's numerous atv paths.

From the trailhead sign, the Boulders Trail drops down and then crosses the eroded channel of Stewart Creek. Once across, the Boulders Trail immediately arrives at a signed junction, where it splits into the Boulders North and Boulders South Trails. Take a left onto the Boulders South Trail. This trail soon reaches an open, sandy flat with views of the area's boulder formations. To the south, Gibson Peak's rugged facade towers high above. The trail departs the flat to ramble southwest along the route of a dry creek bed, while heading toward a prominent needle.

Approaching the one mile point, the Boulders South Trail turns west and becomes more of a cross country route, traveling along sandy washes and bedrock in places. Watch for trail emblems nailed to trees to stay on route.

The trail travels through a wide pass and turns north at 1.5 miles, before reaching the wooded course of Stewart Creek at 1.7 miles. The Boulders South Trail meets the Cypress Trail and the Boulders North Trail at a signed junction in the creek bottom. Turn right (east) onto the Boulders North Trail.

The Boulders North Trail follows the gently descending wash of Stewart Creek, and weaves in and out of stands of Rocky Mountain juniper and Arizona cypress. A few willows, raspberries, and other moisture loving plants cluster around the occasional moist patch in the creek bed.

Stewart Creek pinches into a small box at 2.2 miles, tumbling through granite bedrock, while the trail bypasses this section by climbing over a small ridge. As the trail descends to the creek again, the terrain opens up to reveal a fine view to the east down Stewart Canyon.

Back along the creek, the Boulders North Trail passes through a nice stand of cypress, skirts the north side of a large boulder outcropping, and arrives back at the signed junction with the Boulders South Trail at 2.6 miles. Take the Boulders Trail back across Stewart Creek's gravel chasm to return to the trailhead at 2.7 miles.

  • PATS map
    area related
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
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To hike
From the junction of highways 87 and 260 in Payson, head east on highway 260 for 0.3 miles to the Granite Dells Road stoplight (next to Safeway). Turn right onto Granite Dells Road (Forest Road #435) and follow it for 3.85 miles to the large brown "Boulders Trail" sign next to the road. A fiberglass signpost for "The Boulders" marks the start of the trail (see hike description).

2010-11-08 casfranklin writes: FR #435 is currently blocked about 1/4 mi from the "Boulders Trail" sign. This may be due to a large wash-out near the sign... About 50 feet before the sign is a large cairn marking the easiest descent to the dry Stewart's Creek bed. Crossing the creek bed diagnolly left is a large boulder marking the incline to the trail start.
page created by PrestonSands on Nov 04 2008 9:05 pm
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