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South Fork - Gold Ridge Loop
31 Photosets

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mini location map2020-12-26
13 by photographer avatarBiFrost
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South Fork - Gold Ridge LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 26 2020
BiFrost
Hiking13.91 Miles 3,720 AEG
Hiking13.91 Miles   7 Hrs   13 Mns   2.09 mph
3,720 ft AEG      33 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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John9L
slowandsteady
Fun loop hike in the Mazatzals from Deer Creek trailhead. It was a bit chilly at the start as We went up Gold Ridge trail first which is in great shape but very steep the first 3 miles. Eventually it sort of tops out with great views on the ridge. Then it traverses where the trail gets into some ponderosa pines on the way to the Peeley Road. We took a break just before the road and then made our way over to South Fork Trail.

Near the top of South Fork we checked out Pigeon Spring which was iced over. Continuing down canyon South Fork is in rougher shape than Gold Ridge. The trail is still followable on the top part and we hit pools within the first mile. Wasn't sure how much there would be considering how dry it's been but there was some decent flow and good pools. We took lunch break near a nice pool about 3 miles down the South Fork.


After lunch we continued down canyon and encountered more rough sections. Some interesting bypasses slowed us down but still much faster than if we missed the bypass and stayed in the canyon. Towards the bottom third of the South Fork trail there was work done that made the hiking much easier. Some the trail work was excellent and made the last 4 miles pleasant hiking. We made it out by 3pm and really didn't see anyone except right near end at the trailhead.
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546 Photosets

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