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Payson to Round Valley Loop - 1 member in 6 triplogs has rated this an average 3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Oct 26 2014
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 33
 Photos 2,273
 Triplogs 1,125

63 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Gibson Peak LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 26 2014
mazatzal
Hiking9.50 Miles 2,213 AEG
Hiking9.50 Miles   5 Hrs   55 Mns   1.81 mph
2,213 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
This is a nice ridge hike to Gibson Peak. I pretty much followed the ridge / kingsnake's route all the way. A bit of brush the last mile or so. The summit has some really nice red rock slabs and cliff edges :)

I was planning to do Gibson (and Cypress) from Stewart Pocket but when this ridge route showed up I decided this would be better for Gibson. Now I need KS to find the optimum route up Cypress ;)

I saw two deer along the ridge and a garter snake by the elaborate fire pit near "tank 2". I did a quick detour in round valley following some ribbons for a while not sure where that trail went but I looped around back to the start.
Culture
Culture
Summit Register Log
Named place
Named place
Round Valley
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
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1 archive
May 08 2014
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 90
 Routes 208
 Photos 8,634
 Triplogs 685

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Gibson Peak LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 08 2014
kingsnake
Hiking9.66 Miles 2,279 AEG
Hiking9.66 Miles   5 Hrs   25 Mns   1.78 mph
2,279 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Been planning this hike for about 18 months. Never quite got around to it. So, when things began heating up early in the week, decided to do this rather than something at a lower elevation. Then it cooled down. 76° worth of global warming for three straight days. :roll: Oh well, I had decided to go north, so I did, picking up Rockadoodledude along the way.

I had scouted out the ridge, from the jeep trail at its base, last August ( http://hikearizona.com/photoset=26425 ). I had measured it at about 8.0 miles and 800 feet. (Now realizing that the "800" was elevation difference from high to low, not gain. :whistle: ) Turned out to be about 3x that in AEG -- plus an extra 1.5 miles, but that was expected due to wandering and exploring. :D

As I predicted from other hikes in the area, at lower elevations, brush was not a factor. The first half up Stewart Ridge was through a burn area, and the second two miles, to the summit, was in mixed pine and what I call "scrub oak" (the shrub with 1/2 x 1" leaves with tiny pricklers along the edge, but which don't hurt when you get caught on them). Very little cat claw, and only scattered prickly pear.

Great 360° view of Gila County from the summit, which was marked by a shelter of recent vintage. The summit registry was well-protected, and quite extensive, dating back to 1987. (With room for years to come.) Seems like someone gets up there, and bothers to log in, once every month or so. I neglected to check for Bob Packard. :doh:

I had led the way up, and Mike led the way down. We got to the cul-de-sac at the end of the jeep trail, and started back. I had not had any pace problems to that point, but going up a steep, switch-backed, 250-foot climb -- of all things! -- had me sucking wind. It was my first hike at altitude in six months. (That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.) I took it a little easier after that, on the rather rocky jeep trail. We took a quick snack break at Tank 1, which had a fair amount of water, then cruised the final mile back to the Phoenix St. trailhead.

-----

Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/R5TV2RW4oI ... autoplay=1
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Aug 21 2013
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 90
 Routes 208
 Photos 8,634
 Triplogs 685

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Round Valley Large Loop, AZ 
Round Valley Large Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 21 2013
kingsnake
Hiking10.20 Miles 1,487 AEG
Hiking10.20 Miles   3 Hrs   55 Mns   2.60 mph
1,487 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Looking for things to do in Payson, I hit on the idea of hiking the ridge line from the Phoenix St water tank to Gibson Peak, then returning on the jeep trail souhwest of the ridge line. The satellite view makes the first half look relatively brush free, while the second half would appears much denser. Topo view makes the southwest slope appear rather steep (about 800 feet in a half mile). So, before doing that hike, I thought I would research it by hiking out to the southeastern limit of the jeep trail, next to Gibson Peak's less dense southwest slope, then make a big loop of it by travelling down an old burn spur to Round Valley, then up some washes to the edge of the rez, then back to the TH, just for extra miles.

The drive up at 0600-0730 was very little traffic, as was the drive back from 1330-1500. I was surprised, as even on other week days, at the same time, traffic is heavier. (Though not as heavy as on weekends.) Maybe Wednesday is the best day for Payson travel?

The "trailhead" is a small road spur next to the Phoenix St water tank. There's no "no parking" signs, so I imagine it is legal to park there. You could get two cars in the space.

After passing through the fence, I climbed up HIll 5207, which showed evidence of many lightning strikes. (Burnt trees that did not start larger fires.) As elsewhere in the vicinity, underbrush was very mild and easily navigated.

After 5207, I dropped down to the main jeep trail, heading southeast. Despite the Payson to Round Valley Loop ( http://hikearizona.com/decoder=16287 ) description, I would not want to MTB it: Think of it as Elephant Mountain Trail with trees. (It is that rocky.) I continued down the jeep trail for several miles, through four up & down wash crossings, until reaching the burned spur. The jeep trail turned grassy, indicating lack of recent use.

The lower slope of Gibson Peak did not look steep at all. I shot some video ( http://youtu.be/lfdq6Ziq6nA ), then headed back to the burned spur.

I thought I would have to negotiate the sparse burn brush, but I actually found a jeep trail down. It finally stopped drizzling as I headed down the spur. It looks like the jeep trail goes all the way to the paved road, but I turned northwest across the top of the housing area. Holy cow, there is a ton of deer scat on the north slope of Hill 4954. I saw a couple of deer, but did not get a decent photo. After a mile of x-country travel, I hooked up with a jeep trail and basically followed that / a wash up towards the Tonto Apache rez.

Just south of the rez, by Noah's abandoned inboard ark, is a large meadow just stuffed with flowers. It was beauty and the beast, as there were also a lot of shotgun shells on the trail, and a garbage dump near the wood line.

I thought I was supposed to follow a jeep trail back, but there was a fence between me and it. I crossed over just before the open dirt area, which looked kind of like a park, as there were picnic tables, rough cabana and, oddly, a couple of wikiups (despite being off rez land, according to the topo). When I travelled far enough to see the Phoenix St water tank, I was on the wrong side of the fence. I must have missed whatever trail it was that would have kept me on the correct / south side of it.

-----

Long story short, Gibson Peak would not be unduly difficult, at least slope-wise, if you took the jeep trail up from Round Valley, then climbed the southwest slope. The Stewart Ridge ( http://hikearizona.com/decoder=16282 ) description claims the ridge route would require chaps, but based on my other hikes in the area, I'd have to see it to believe it, so travelling the ridge line also appears a viable option.
Named place
Named place
Gibson Peak Round Valley
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Apr 11 2013
AZWanderingBear
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 61
 Photos 2,620
 Triplogs 700

64 male
 Joined Jan 23 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Payson to Round Valley LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 11 2013
AZWanderingBear
Hiking4.50 Miles 918 AEG
Hiking4.50 Miles   2 Hrs      2.25 mph
918 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Going some geocaching up in Payson. Nice hike along a new to me trail.
_____________________
All you have is your fire...
And the place you need to reach
Jul 15 2012
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Payson to Round Valley LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 15 2012
DarthStiller
Hiking10.60 Miles 1,120 AEG
Hiking10.60 Miles   4 Hrs   10 Mns   2.54 mph
1,120 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was up early, in part thankfully due to the jetlag, so my plans to do this hike in Payson worked out. I started my hike at about 6:40am, on my earlier start times, and finished just afer 11am, with a 10 min. lunch break.

The initial part of this hike from the Sonic off SR87 is not very scenic. After that I took the eastern part of the lower lasso loop of the posted GPS route, which was not an official part of the PATS. That trail was actually the best part of this hike. There were several more of these types of trails, which seemed more like horse or mountain biking trails. i was happy to take this trail and then take the rest of the PATS trails back to the trailhead.

About 2-3 miles from the TH on the way back, i spotted a firefighting helicopter that sounded like it was grabbing some water from a nearby lake. got a few out and back shots of it.

the temps never got above 80 degrees and the clouds helped prevent need for sunscreen, which i forgot anyway.
Fauna
Fauna
Velvet Mite
Culture
Culture
Aircraft
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Oct 09 2011
donqcryer
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 15
 Photos 237
 Triplogs 44

71 male
 Joined Oct 06 2011
 Payson, AZ &
Payson to Round Valley LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 09 2011
donqcryer
Hiking5.98 Miles 918 AEG
Hiking5.98 Miles   3 Hrs      1.99 mph
918 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This lasso route starts off of a new cul-de-sac (not on any current maps) off of the new E Phoenix Street extension. It also begins on the PATS Round Valley Trail and follows it to Round Valley, then leaves PATS and goes SE on Gibson Ranch Road before returning uphill on another trail and rejoining PATS back to the trailhead. For the most part, the entire trail is a jeep double track. It is a nice long workout hike with views of the Matazal most of the way. Without much shade, it is best to do early. This is an excellent mountain bike loop

The first part is the toughest. After a modest climb, the trail goes steeply straight up to the top of the ridge, complicated by loose footings of hard head rocks. After cresting the 1st ridge through the saddle, a little further down you come to an intersection, though the route continues straight, you can take a very short detour to right and go to a year round tank (your dog will thank you.) Back on the route, the route follows PATS and also a section of 'Phoenix Street Loop' trail, down crossing a wash where we begin a long climb. Close to the crest of the hill, go right, continuing on PATS (marked.) (You will return to this intersection coming up from the SE completing the loop part of the lasso here...) The trail is mostly level here for a mile and has great views of the Rim and Matazals. Soon the trail begins a long modest descent to Round Valley and T's with Gibson Ranch Road. Go L along the road for about .4 miles and find an established jeep trail on your L. This is where dues will be paid and last night's pizza will be burned off - a long, but modest climb back up the hill. Be aware, there are many many trails traversing all through this area and on this section a GPS would be more than helpful. The last part is a little up & down and passes a all-season tank, before completing the loop at the previous mentioned intersection, and retracing the last section down, up and down to the trailhead. Enjoy the serenity and solitude!
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average hiking speed 2.16 mph

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.

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