Telephone Ridge Trail #103 - Chevelon, AZ | HikeArizona
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Telephone Ridge Trail #103 - Chevelon, AZ

Guide 42 Triplogs  6 Topics
  4 of 5 
no permit
438 42 6
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,200 feet
Elevation Gain -700 feet
Accumulated Gain 714 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2
Kokopelli Seeds 6.07
 Interest Perennial Creek
 Backpack Yes
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17  2022-04-23 chumley
5  2020-08-15 jillyonanadventu
10  2019-05-18 LindaAnn
4  2018-08-18 topohiker
14  2018-06-26 topohiker
9  2017-07-08 topohiker
15  2017-07-02
Chevelon Creek
10  2017-06-25 arizona_water
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
author avatar Guides 7
Routes 0
Photos 632
Trips 83 map ( 529 miles )
Age 52 Male Gender
Location Cave Creek, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Payson Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
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Preferred Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → 9 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:38am - 6:29pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2016 Sam Jim Fire2.4k
🔥 2010 Circle Bar Fire14.2 mi*
🔥 1987 Slim Fire12.8 mi**
🔥 1956 Dudley Fire33.0 mi**
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles
**possible voids inflate figure

Beautiful Chevelon Creek - Yabba Dabba Doo
by AZHikr4444

Telephone Ridge Trail #203 is a trail used chiefly by trout fisherman, descending from an unmarked trailhead into Chevelon Canyon about 5-6 miles south of the Lake. The trail heads west from the trailhead through some nice ponderosas before becoming exposed on the ridge. Be extremely careful coming down this trail! The actual trail winds down a series of switchbacks, and at one point, the trail is entirely blocked by down trees. It is necessary to do some crawling, but hey, you don't mind, do you? About 0.5 miles into the trail, another faint trail branches off to the right. If you take this trail (like we did), you will follow the ridge straight down 700 feet into the Canyon. It is fast, and it is a dangerous drop on loose scree, so be careful! I would advise taking the left trail and continuing on the switchbacks. It is slower, and you may have to crawl once or twice, but it will keep you off the exposed ridge and away from the scree.

This was a perfect trail for my first overnight backpack in Arizona. It is short but strenuous enough to test your resolve, perhaps leading you to question the sanity of lugging 35 pounds into the backcountry when you could be at home watching the Flintstones. With seasoned backpackers like Trish, Shi, her son Issac, and friend Chris helping me, this was the ultimate learning experience.

Okay, back to the hike. I can imagine at one time, this section of Chevelon Canyon was breathtaking. While it still retains the natural ruggedness and beauty of the Rim, this particular area has a haunting quality due to the sheer number of downed trees. It seems as though a fire swept through close by, killing the trees but not burning them, so they stood dead until wind toppled them, domino-style to the ground. After the trail drops into the Canyon, it merges with the Woods Canyon to Chevelon Lake Trail, meandering along this beautiful creek through stands of bright green willow and towering rock ledges. There are many wonderful deep pools in Chevelon Creek, just beckoning for a swim. Supposed to be trout in there too! The more adventurous can continue exploring up or down the canyon. We decided to camp directly below the ridge, where there is an established rock fire ring and easy access to the water. The meadow was great for playing Frisbee, and numerous trees were available for a sunny afternoon hammock nap.

When you are all packed up and ready to ascend that thigh busting 1.25 miles to the top, look northeast for a saddle. This is where the trail will begin its switchbacks, and going this direction will keep you off that ridge. Believe me, it is still a good workout (especially with the crawling).

Don't forget to stop at Mad Dawg and Mels in Payson for a greasy backpack burger and some sweet potato fries!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2005-05-15 AZHikr4444
    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 $$

    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    Take 260 east from Payson approx. 29 miles to the Forest Road 300 (Rim Road) turnoff. Take a left, and follow FR300 for approximately 8.5 miles. Take a right onto Forest Road 169 for another 7.0 miles. Watch for the turnoff for Forest Road 119 and take a right. Only a small brown sign marks this road. Follow 119 for approximately 3 miles, being careful to follow the arrows at the junction with FR180. Forest Road 119 is dirt and a very rugged road. It is not strictly 4 x 4, but a high clearance vehicle is required, especially to negotiate the puddles over the last 1 mile.

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