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Willow Springs Canyon - Mogollon Rim - 10 members in 24 triplogs have rated this an average 3.9 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jul 21 2018
ssk44
avatar

 Guides 19
 Routes 12
 Photos 2,250
 Triplogs 274

44 male
 Joined Mar 31 2008
 Gilbert, AZ
Willow Springs Canyon - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 21 2018
ssk44
Hiking3.00 Miles
Hiking3.00 Miles
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Willow is such a gem. It's been five years since I was last hear. I cant believe it took me so long to come back. It's still beautiful and still unspoiled. I think I just forgot how good it was. I saw only one person on a Saturday afternoon. Amazing. I hope it stays this way. Shhh.. Don't tell anyone.


Eric
:D
Flora
Flora
Moss
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
ISAIAH 6:2-3 / MATTHEW 11:28-30
Jun 23 2018
hikerdw
avatar

 Routes 131
 Photos 2,263
 Triplogs 358

60 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Willow Springs - Canyon and Bike Loop, AZ 
Willow Springs - Canyon and Bike Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 23 2018
hikerdw
Hiking11.76 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking11.76 Miles   4 Hrs   36 Mns   3.00 mph
500 ft AEG      41 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Saw this hike posted by @DixieFlyer so off we wen(d)t. While still at the trailhead we saw a large herd of Elk, very cool. The hike down to the lake/canyon was very nice, the canyon part of the hike was the highlight, and the bike loop was OK, probably would be rated better if we hadn't just hiked the canyon (stunning) and if the temps were slightly cooler. The only other wildlife we saw was a single turkey in the canyon. Will definitely be back to do some additional exploring in the canyon.
_____________________
1 archive
Jun 21 2018
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 15
 Routes 206
 Photos 2,570
 Triplogs 191

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Willow Springs Canyon - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 21 2018
DixieFlyer
Hiking11.00 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking11.00 Miles   4 Hrs   24 Mns   3.06 mph
500 ft AEG      48 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I was looking for a place to hike on the Rim that wasn't closed due to fire danger, so I opted to go to Willow Springs Canyon.

I did an inverted CCW lollipop loop that started and ended at the Horse Trap TH. This TH is on the north side of 260, just across from where the road to Young goes off to the south of 260.

My route followed some forest roads, most of which seemed to be on the Willow Springs Bicycle Loop Trail.

The trails were flat and wide, so this was an easy hike and one in which you could maintain a brisk pace if you wanted.

I started at 7:30 AM and finished just after noon, and the temperatures were quite pleasant.

Willow Springs Canyon is very nice -- I went about 1 1/2 miles below the dam, up to the point where the vegetation was getting thick.

I saw a fox cross one of the forest roads ahead of me. In the canyon I saw some ducks and got within about 15' of a turkey. I also saw a couple of osprey nests in the canyon, along with lots of elk and deer tracks.

All in all, this is a pleasant easy hike.
_____________________
Jun 12 2018
kelly14
avatar

 Routes 87
 Photos 748
 Triplogs 99

25 male
 Joined Sep 27 2015
 Phoenix
Willow Springs Canyon - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 12 2018
kelly14
Hiking6.59 Miles 297 AEG
Hiking6.59 Miles   4 Hrs   21 Mns   1.91 mph
297 ft AEG      54 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked Willow Springs Canyon yesterday and even though it was the hottest day of the year so far it paid off! Didn't want to park at the lake thinking it might be a zoo so instead parked at Rimtop Trailhead which worked out well there wasn't another car there when we started our hike.

The first leg of our hike was very very hot. You are in the woods but I think like others have previously stated the trees are thinned out in a kind of weird almost ugly way that doesn't provide much shade either. Eventually closer to the canyon we hit thicker forest which provided some well needed shade. Boy that area could use a prescribed fire though there was so many pockets of clustered small dried up ponderosas.

We kept trucking till we hit the little drainage that we wanted and followed it down to Paradise! aka Willow Springs Canyon. It was amazing down here. Creek was flowing the entire way and the water was nice and cold. Fish were literally jumping out of the water too. And at this point the west side of the canyon was completely shaded. It honestly felt 15-20F colder down here in the shade by the creek vs up top in the sun. On our way out we encountered 1 other hiker(which was a surprise)and a family fishing at the dam. The crowds never seem to leave the lake which is awesome.

On our hike back we just off trailed it and stumbled upon a huge grove of aspen (surrounded by tall fence to keep the elk out I assume) and spooked a herd of at least 30 elk! Lake 3 was bone dry but was an amazing beautiful meadow with aspens around it. And directly east of where we parked at rimtop trailhead was a beautiful patch of forest of firs and spruces with a little meadow in it that was spectacular! Saw it on google maps and had to check it out.

I would highly recommend this hike for the summer. 2 hours from phoenix and you are at 7500ft and have a flowing mountain stream? Heaven!
Fauna
Fauna
Elk

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Willow Springs Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
Jan 24 2018
kelly14
avatar

 Routes 87
 Photos 748
 Triplogs 99

25 male
 Joined Sep 27 2015
 Phoenix
Willow Springs Canyon - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 24 2018
kelly14
Hiking2.30 Miles 504 AEG
Hiking2.30 Miles
504 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked Willow Springs Canyon With the wife, son, and dog. There was a ton of snow! Im guessing at least 8-10 inches in most places with some spots around 1 foot.( Maybe from previous storm?)The creek was running strongly the whole way with it iced completely over in some spots. Road in was pretty slick but not bad. Beautiful day ending in seeing a huge flock of 12 + turkeys!
Fauna
Fauna
Wild Turkey
_____________________
1 archive
Aug 20 2017
chumley
avatar

 Guides 75
 Routes 667
 Photos 13,266
 Triplogs 1,425

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Willow Springs Canyon Loop, AZ 
Willow Springs Canyon Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 20 2017
chumley
Hiking8.11 Miles 377 AEG
Hiking8.11 Miles   2 Hrs   45 Mns   2.95 mph
377 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Carrie and Johan had never been to Willow Springs and 9L hadn't been there in years so I decided to lead them down Willow Springs Canyon for an easy little after-kayak hike. We all enjoyed the hike in the canyon but turned around when it got thick. A little short on mileage we decided to go up the east side and loop the lake. Apparently there's a bike trail here! Who knew!?

Along the lake it's pretty nice, but the south side of the lake has been heavily thinned and it's pretty sparse and ugly right now. Give it a year or two to green up again.

I wish I had a track loaded because with thunder rumbling we stuck to the bike trail which was far from the most efficient way to get back. Eventually we bailed back to the road. We got poured on for the last half mile, arriving back at the cars soaked since we hadn't planned for a 3 hour hike and none of us brought our raingear! ](*,)
Named place
Named place
Willow Springs Lake
_____________________
Profound observer
Aug 20 2017
John9L
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 170
 Photos 4,848
 Triplogs 1,619

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Willow Springs Canyon Loop, AZ 
Willow Springs Canyon Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 20 2017
John9L
Hiking8.11 Miles 377 AEG
Hiking8.11 Miles
377 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
On Sunday, four of us made an extended loop around Willow Springs Lake. This is another lake I haven’t been to before. We opted for a clockwise loop and this worked well. I really liked the spillway below the lake. It looks like they blasted it out with dynamite. We continued down canyon for a mile or two and then the canyon was swallowed with brush. We didn’t feel like fighting our way through so we returned to the lake and continued the loop. It went by quickly as storm clouds moved in. The skies opened with just under a mile to go. We hurried back to the cars and then packed up and headed back to Phoenix. Thanks Chumley for planning the weekend and thanks for driving!
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1 archive
Jul 04 2017
Droog
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 113
 Photos 1,437
 Triplogs 117

42 male
 Joined Jul 01 2011
 Phoenix, Az
Willow Springs Canyon - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Kayak avatar Jul 04 2017
Droog
Kayak5.90 Miles 409 AEG
Kayak5.90 Miles   4 Hrs   20 Mns   1.48 mph
409 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Eartheist
This was a great trip. We saw a Bald Eagle on the 4th. How patriotic. It was fending off commie hawks from stealing its fish. I saw fish in the water but nothing was biting my bait. I need help being a better fisherman :( We heard a bunch or sirens. Since we were just outside of Heber... ](*,) http://www.wmicentral....
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Jul 04 2017
MountainMatt
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 192
 Photos 2,801
 Triplogs 444

27 male
 Joined Jan 24 2016
 Arizona
Willow Springs Canyon - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 04 2017
MountainMatt
Hiking5.85 Miles 439 AEG
Hiking5.85 Miles
439 ft AEG25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Worked the first half of the day and then decided to check out this little gem.
Literally hundreds of people at the lake but the moment I went pass the dam and into the canyon I did not see another person.
Just as Chums described the canyon was easy going, placid pools and then after awhile turns into a rugged vegetation choked paradise.
Plenty of cool flowing water, tall pines and small cascades made this a scenic splendor.
Traveling down the middle of the creek was the easiest method of travel since the banks are littered mess of deadfall and thick brush.
On the way back I had one of my best wildlife sightings in awhile, four elk and a total of nearly two dozen big ole wild turkeys all split into separate smaller groups.

***Side note my Route Scout app is currently giving me a headache and driving me crazy!
I've downloaded and deleted the app numerous times now but it still continues to not save any of my hikes and is once again deleting all my saved routes.
My iPhone is low on memory space again but I thought the whole instantly deleting routes due to low memory space was fixed.
Any recommendations?
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Willow Springs Canyon Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Willow Springs Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full
_____________________
http://www.mattwhelanphotography.com/
Aug 13 2016
ALMAL
avatar

 Routes 7
 Photos 1,929
 Triplogs 173

54 male
 Joined Oct 17 2010
 GILBERT
Willow Springs Canyon - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Aug 13 2016
ALMAL
Backpack10.00 Miles 439 AEG
Backpack10.00 Miles
439 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I wanted to explore this upper section of Willow Springs/Chevelon creek and thought this old road (now signed as bike trail) may be the ticket. I was the only vehicle in the trailhead parking lot Saturday morning. Launched the mountain bike and it was smooth sailing down the dirt/gravel road just at 4 miles to it's end. The road was nicely packed all the way. It was mostly flat and easy to navigate. My first glimpse of Chevelon Canyon was spectacular. I could hear running water already. There are a few nice, and one awesome campsite at the end of the road on the edge of the canyon. I quickly realized that the drop down to the creek was more drastic than I had expected. A quick survey on both side of the canyon junction and I did not see any sort of path leading down, probably because it's straight down... Finally, on the Willow Springs side, about 400 yards to the south, there was a faint path, maybe wash leading down. I probably should not have attempted this, but I did. Slid my way down to the creek and headed downstream.
You encounter the first remnants of black irrigation almost immediately. It is absolutely everywhere, on both sides of the creek and in the creek. I also came across 2 propane tanks, 4 plastic tarps on a hillside, a pump sprayer, and an empty bag of ammonium sulfate. I really could not believe how much tubing there is, all of it cut up. The water disappeared just a 100 yards before the confluence. I set up a quick camp at the end of the peninsula, then went further down canyon to explore. It was slow going with dry boulder hopping between game trails on both sides of the creek bed. Surprisingly, about a mile north of camp, the trails became very easy to follow. I could have continued on down but since I still had not reached more water, I went back. I tried my luck fly fishing before dusk and managed to catch 2 very small browns. Much like Horton, this creek is loaded with them. There were several deeper pools with numerous fish. Rain threatened but never fell. This area was incredibly quiet at night.
The hike up was brutal, and the bike ride back pleasant. With very sore quads, I have come to the conclusion that this entry point is not a viable option for through-hiking this beautiful stream system.
_____________________
You aren't late if you don't show up!
Jun 19 2016
paco14
avatar

 Routes 10
 Photos 7
 Triplogs 13

31 male
 Joined Sep 25 2014
 Tempe, AZ
Willow Springs Canyon - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 19 2016
paco14
Hiking4.00 Miles 439 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
439 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Didn't really hike into the canyon, just peeked over the edge of the dam. Second hike of the day with my parents and brother after the natural bridge, just wanted to wander around above the rim somewhere with water to cool off. Meandered around the lake for a few hours, watched the ospreys catch some fish, jumped in the lake, and headed back to the valley for dinner.
_____________________
2 archives
Jun 04 2016
afrankie
avatar

 Routes 40
 Photos 353
 Triplogs 128

31 male
 Joined Sep 30 2015
 Carrboro, NC
Willow Springs Canyon - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 04 2016
afrankie
Hiking4.09 Miles 234 AEG
Hiking4.09 Miles   1 Hour   55 Mns   2.82 mph
234 ft AEG      28 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Late morning hike to stretch our legs after camping at Willow Springs Friday night. We hiked about two miles but didn't have it in us to go another two (figured they'd be two slow ones as we were doing a bit of rock/deadwood hopping as it was) to the confluence before turning back. On a busy day at the lake this offered nice solitude and it was mildly temped down below with a lot of shade and a cool stream.

Did almost step on a ~3' (terrestrial) gartersnake on the trail though! Di's scream could've broke the dam ;)
_____________________
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.
Evan Hardin

Footloose adventures are documented instagram @afrankie8.
2 archives
Apr 07 2016
The_N
avatar

 Routes 54
 Photos 1,508
 Triplogs 325

33 male
 Joined Mar 18 2015
 Payson, AZ
Willow Springs Canyon - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 07 2016
The_N
Hiking6.19 Miles 650 AEG
Hiking6.19 Miles   2 Hrs   49 Mns   2.20 mph
650 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
2nd of 2 short hikes on the day. I decided to do this one alone and I was glad I did because bringing the youngster would've been painful due to all the rocks and deadfall to hop over. By the time I started hiking, the cloud cover had increased significantly and when paired with a steady breeze was very enjoyable. Willow Springs Lake was quiet today. Once back in the canyon I met a couple of guys fly fishing the stream but had total solitude after that. There is still a surprising amount of snow in the canyon's shaded spots. The stream was running good the entire length of my hike. Lots of elk sign but no sightings. Neat little spot to explore.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Willow Springs Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Snow melt is still feeding the flow
_____________________
If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
2 archives
Jun 13 2015
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 77
 Photos 3,156
 Triplogs 404

61 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Highline - Woods - Willow Spring Lakes Loop, AZ 
Highline - Woods - Willow Spring Lakes Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 13 2015
rayhuston
Hiking21.00 Miles 2,180 AEG
Hiking21.00 Miles   8 Hrs   33 Mns   2.61 mph
2,180 ft AEG      30 Mns Break16 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
This was a very nice hike in the Rim Country with Karl and Bruce. Great weather at the start, an occasional rumble of thunder with some sprinkles starting at about the halfway point and continuing through the remainder of the hike. It was a little wetter at the end, but not enough to detract from this splendid trek along the Highline, through a couple of canyons, past two lakes and across an open meadow. See The Eagle's GPS route for more info.

This is officially my longest hike in terms of miles. I've had several close to, but none longer than 20 miles. I know it's not a lot for many of you out there, but it's always nice to reach a new milestone.

Karl, it was great meeting you! Thanks for the ride and the refreshments, and I thank you both for a wonderful time. I can't remember the last time I talked so much on a hike. I'm sure the lower AEG contributed, but great company was the bigger factor.
_____________________
2 archives
Jun 13 2015
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 792
 Photos 9,180
 Triplogs 1,081

63 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Highline - Woods - Willow Spring Lakes Loop, AZ 
Highline - Woods - Willow Spring Lakes Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 13 2015
The_Eagle
Hiking21.02 Miles 2,188 AEG
Hiking21.02 Miles   8 Hrs   33 Mns   2.61 mph
2,188 ft AEG      30 Mns Break16 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Escaped the valley to the cool air, pines and lakes of the Rim. :y:

I had never seen Willow Springs Lake, so I needed to bake that into the loop. A 40% chance of rain scared some away, but temps were perfect all day, with just a few sprinkles.

We were the second truck at the 260 Trailhead when we started around 7:30. The eastern end of the Highline affords some nice views of the rim as it rollercoasters towards the Drew Trail #291, 4 miles away.

The Drew Trail was the only extended climb for the day at 800' in less than a mile. We made our way through the people camping, over to the first of the easy bushwhacks for the day, Woods Canyon, a tributary of the lake.

Next a fun favorite, the Woods Canyon Lake Trail. I've always liked this easy stroll around this picturesque lake. There were others out enjoying the day, but not in the numbers I expected. Stopped and took pictures of the kids, to see how their family was doing, and then headed past the dam into Woods Canyon on the east side of the lake.

Woods Canyon is an easy walk with use trails for the most part where we hiked. 2+ miles into it we made the short steep climb out and made our way across some scattered pine and meadow area and into Willow Spring Canyon. Getting up to the lake is easiest by following the spillway. I was not as impressed with Willow Spring Lake.

It started sprinkling a bit on us as we made the rest of the journey on the Rims Lake Vista Trail and then made our way back on the Military Sinkhole Trail.

I love the rim hikes and another good hike up there, with interesting conversations with Karl and Ray. Thanks for driving Karl.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max East Fork Woods Canyon Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Willow Springs Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
1 archive
Jun 13 2015
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 338
 Photos 6,921
 Triplogs 805

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Highline - Woods - Willow Spring Lakes Loop, AZ 
Highline - Woods - Willow Spring Lakes Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 13 2015
BiFrost
Hiking21.02 Miles 2,188 AEG
Hiking21.02 Miles   8 Hrs   33 Mns   2.61 mph
2,188 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Great day of hiking on the rim. Started at 260 Trailhead and headed to Drew Trail for only climb of the day. From there it was a nice stroll on the rim through the pines. We hit Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes with some creek hiking between the two lakes. The highlight was definitely hiking the creek sections near the lakes. We didn't see anyone in these sections and good creek flow. Eventually we made our way back over to the rim and down to 260 TH to finish the loop. Great hike...only sprinkled for a few minutes right at the end...thanks for putting this one together Bruce :D
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
1 archive
Apr 03 2015
rickcmarsh
avatar

 Routes 8
 Triplogs 10

37 male
 Joined Jan 07 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Willow Springs Canyon - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 03 2015
rickcmarsh
Backpack4.00 Miles 439 AEG
Backpack4.00 Miles
439 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took my 8 year old son on his first overnight backpacking trip. Got a late start, but it was great. Beautiful country and a nice easy hike for him to use his new pack and sleeping bag on. Weather was perfect (a bit chilly to begin the morning) but no wind, and a full moon. Hiked in while dark, and hiked out in the early AM. Didn't see much wildlife, but did hear some turkey's. Would like to go back soon.
_____________________
Sep 20 2014
topohiker
avatar

 Guides 13
 Routes 112
 Photos 4,377
 Triplogs 1,760

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Larson Ridge, AZ 
Larson Ridge, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 20 2014
topohiker
Hiking29.27 Miles 3,230 AEG
Hiking29.27 Miles   12 Hrs   6 Mns   2.81 mph
3,230 ft AEG   1 Hour   41 Mns Break
 
I showed Fan the Larson Ridge / Chevelon Creek view spots.We started from the Rim Top TH and headed up the bike trail.

Along the way we talked about smartphones and GPS apps.Fan liked the Tremble GPS app, until she heard the split statistics from the HAZ tracks. She decided to dump Tremble and go with HAZ tracks.

From the bike trail we went off trail to Willows Springs creek and ended at FR237/Larsons Ridge.
We went up FR237 to where it ended. We spent time exploring around. Fan found a rock overhang with good view. It started to rain so we took a long break/lunch under the rock overhang. At times the rain came down hard. Once the sun came out, we started the trek back. It rained on us 3 more times before the clouds parted.

We took the General Crook / Willows Springs bike and the Sardine trails back to the Jeep.
The Sardine trail feels extra-long in the dark with all of its twists and turns.
_____________________
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
Aug 23 2014
topohiker
avatar

 Guides 13
 Routes 112
 Photos 4,377
 Triplogs 1,760

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Larson Ridge, AZ 
Larson Ridge, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 23 2014
topohiker
Hiking35.59 Miles 2,473 AEG
Hiking35.59 Miles   13 Hrs      3.34 mph
2,473 ft AEG   2 Hrs   20 Mns Break
 
The goal for the day was to explore Larson Ridge and to explore some of the abandoned roads along the way.

I started at the Rim top TH. The first 3 hours of hike was fruitless. Then I figured out a direct route from the bike trail to Larson Ridge. I went through Willow Springs canyon. The creek had a good flow through it.

Larson Ridge is a neat area. As you go North Horse Trap Canyon comes in from the West (left) and Long Tom canyon comes in from the East (right). Eventually Horse Trap Canyon becomes Chevelon Canyon. Larson Ridge ends at the convergence of Chevelon Canyon and Long Tom Canyon.
There are numerous camping spots along the road. There's also a number of Chevelon Creek views spots along the way. The best view spots are where there's rock outcroppings at the edge of the ridge.

The two best view spots are:
Larson Spring Tank -there’s a big flat rocky area here- (I didn't find the tank)
At the end of Larson Ridge -there a big car size rock here-

I took the following route back:
Larson ridge
Gen Crook trail
Willow Springs trail
Sardine trail
502 Bike trail

This was one of few times that the fire threat was posted as LOW. The ground was super soggy and there was a lot of standing water on the trails.

The temps were just down right chilly. It never did warm up. At least I didn't get rained on for once! When I got back to the Jeep the covers had frost on them.
_____________________
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
Jul 06 2013
ssk44
avatar

 Guides 19
 Routes 12
 Photos 2,250
 Triplogs 274

44 male
 Joined Mar 31 2008
 Gilbert, AZ
Willow Springs Canyon - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 06 2013
ssk44
Hiking5.20 Miles
Hiking5.20 Miles   6 Hrs      0.87 mph
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Willow Springs Canyon - Lower

What a special summer destination. This place is sooo me. Pristine, remote, and completely unspoiled. This just may be the best kept secret on the Rim. I hope it stays that way. It's just a gorgeous high-country canyon/creek hike. Lower Willow will become a yearly pilgrimage for me. Its definitely not for everyone... The lower canyon is relentlessly rugged with boulders and dead-fall everywhere. Add a little monsoon rain to all the rocks and the rodeo really begins. This is a great destination for the adventurous spirit. The easily frustrated need not apply.

Note: See corresponding GPS route for access option
Named place
Named place
Willow Springs Canyon
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
ISAIAH 6:2-3 / MATTHEW 11:28-30
average hiking speed 2.35 mph
1, 2  Next

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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