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Houston Trail - PATS - 3 members in 14 triplogs have rated this an average 2.3 ( 1 to 5 best )
14 triplogs
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14 Triplogs
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Apr 24 2016
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

41 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Houston Loop Trail - PATSPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 24 2016
syoung
Hiking5.36 Miles 666 AEG
Hiking5.36 Miles
666 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Spent the weekend camping at Houston Mesa again and went exploring throughout the area. We didn't arrive until after dark Friday night and basically set up camp, ate dinner, and crashed for the night. It was quite comfortable temperature wise. Waking up Saturday morning it was pleasantly warm. We ate breakfast in town at the Beeline Cafe, explored the town a bit, and then explored the woods a bit. With the clear skies Saturday, and the uptick in the wind, the temperatures really nosedived Saturday night. Thankfully all the gear performed as expected and we were toasty (except for our heads as we both forgot beanies). Sunday morning breakfast was amusing as my fiance is quite short and had to break some OSHA rules while cooking the bacon.
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Oct 24 2015
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

41 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Houston Mesa CampgroundPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 24 2015
syoung
Hiking5.80 Miles 643 AEG
Hiking5.80 Miles   1 Hour   35 Mns   3.66 mph
643 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
About the only week more tiring than the first week of school is conference week. It is both mentally and physically draining with the amount of meetings we have etc. 6 of us (4 teachers and 2 others) decided to make a weekend out in the woods of Payson. The weather was absolutely wonderful; not too hot during the days and just enough bite in the air at night to remind you that fall is in the air (plus it makes everyone that much closer in the tent).

My SO is not the most outdoorsy person in the world for good reason - almost everything out there is trying to end her existence quite early as she is allergic to a dictionary length list of items; both food and items in the wild. As such, she had never been camping as an adult. This was a complete shock to me when the details of the trip started to come to fruition. The shock quickly turned to concern as I would prefer not to kill her :lol: Thankfully, she handled the outdoors quite well and my concerns were alleviated over the course of the 3 days.

On Saturday I tried to rouse everyone to join me on a hike down the Houston Mesa trail. Unfortunately I was only able to convince myself that it was worth it. I am kind of glad everyone didn't join me as the overall hike was quite pedestrian. The trail is definitely designed more for horses and mountain bikes rather than the two foot mode of transportation. Overall, however, it was nice to see something new.
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1 archive
Jul 25 2014
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 90
 Routes 208
 Photos 8,634
 Triplogs 685

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Houston Loop Trail - PATSPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 25 2014
kingsnake
Hiking8.51 Miles 856 AEG
Hiking8.51 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   2.43 mph
856 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Wife was out of town, so I wanted to do something that was not too isolated. Been in Prescott a lot lately, and had been considering a combination of Houston Trail and Houston Loop. That seemed a bit long, and not quite adventurous enough, so I came up with a plan to start from Shoofly, cross Walnut Flat, descend an unnamed canyon, take PATS to Lockwood Gulch, head down that to the housing area, cross the barren zone, pick up PATS again, following that to the base of Houston Creek, then up the creek back to the top of Walnut Flat, then back to Shoofly.

There was very little traffic on Hwy 87. I set cruise control at 70, and only braked once, for traffic, even through the tight curves, on the way up. Made better time than I expected, and was on the trail -- or at least checking out the ruins -- by 7:20 a.m. The Shoofly signs were much more interesting than the ruins. I've seen better unregistered ruins. :|

On my way to the head of the unnamed canyon, I came upon an old cowboy, and his mare "Ruby". Had a good long chat with him. He's been working in the area since the 50s. Not much feed for cattle up there these days. Nor for elk, which being in the two most popular hunting zones in Arizona -- 22 and 23 -- have been considerably thinned over the years. He used to see heards of 30-40. He was looking for elk antlers, and used to find three or four every trip, but not much lately. There was certainly evidence of elk everywhere. Walnut Flat, and the canyons below it, is a virtual elk scat minefield.

There followed a very mellow descent into the unnamed canyon. Negotiating the brush on the way down, and along the canyon bottom, was not a problem. When I got to PATS, I low-crawled the barbwire fence. If I had gone 200 yards west, there would have been no need. :roll: No big deal, though.

Lockwood Gulch was similar to the unnamed canyon, with the addition of some small cascades. Too bad there was not a drop of water in the gulch.

Anybody know what the deal is with the barren zone between the houses at the north edge of Payson and the Tonto National Forest? (Yeah, it's Tonto even way up there.) Burn area? Burn buffer? Something else? :-k

By the time I got back on PATS, I was feeling the heat.I didn't want to beat brush up the entire length of Houston Creek, so called an audible, and continued on PATS for another mile, rather than looping south towards Mayfield Canyon. Good thing I do a thorough map / sat recon before every hike, because doing so enabled me to pick up a very old trail up Houston Creek canyon, rather than bushwhacking up the canyon bottom. (Which was bone dry.) The top half of the trail was even cairned. :thanx:

Back on Walnut Flat, the temps were well into the 90s, and there was very little shade on the mile and half back to Shoofly. Even the cacti looked dehydrated. :sweat:

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Hike Video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47udXm01ZKg?mo ... autoplay=1
Fauna
Fauna
Funnel-web Spider
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Nov 17 2013
mtabbert
avatar

 Triplogs 428

68 male
 Joined Mar 05 2013
 Payson, AZ
Houston Trail - PATSPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 17 2013
mtabbert
Hiking5.50 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking5.50 Miles   1 Hour   59 Mns   2.77 mph
600 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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Jun 01 2013
Booneman
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 33
 Photos 736
 Triplogs 3,372

40 male
 Joined Nov 25 2008
 Chandler, AZ
Houston Trail - PATSPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Jun 01 2013
Booneman
Run/Jog11.79 Miles 733 AEG
Run/Jog11.79 Miles   1 Hour   33 Mns   7.61 mph
733 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Celebrated National Trails Day with a loop run on the Houston and Houston Loop Trails. Highlight of the day was seeing what I believed to be a Mojave Rattlesnake!
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Apr 15 2012
Mike911
avatar

 Photos 1
 Triplogs 51

58 male
 Joined Mar 25 2005
 San Tan Valley,
Houston Trail - PATSPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2012
Mike911
Hiking3.00 Miles 990 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   2 Hrs      1.50 mph
990 ft AEG3.5 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Explored part of the Houston Trail. Saw a few white tail deer.
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Mike 911
San Tan Valley, AZ 85143
Sep 25 2011
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Houston Trail - PATSPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 25 2011
DarthStiller
Hiking2.30 Miles 220 AEG
Hiking2.30 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   1.53 mph
220 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We decided to take the kids on a hike. Since it's still so hot in the desert, we took a ride up to Payson and did the leg of the Houston Mesa Trail that heads west over to the Horse Camp. We asked our neighbors if they were interested in tagging along and they were, so we had a nice group.

The trail took us to a camp ground that had a dirt road thru it. We took the road to the north a little but couldn't find where the trail picked up again, if it even did. We turned around and even headed south a little more from where the trail meets the road but still never found the rest of the trail.

At the campground the kids had some fun at the springs and cooled themselves off.
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Sep 18 2011
jochal
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 1,878
 Triplogs 525

36 male
 Joined Sep 13 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Houston Trail - PATSPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 18 2011
jochal
Hiking9.90 Miles 990 AEG
Hiking9.90 Miles   3 Hrs   40 Mns   2.70 mph
990 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
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Aug 01 2011
georgesteel
avatar

 Routes 6
 Photos 303
 Triplogs 36

58 male
 Joined Dec 13 2003
 Perth, Scotland
Houston Trail - PATSPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 01 2011
georgesteel
Hiking9.90 Miles 990 AEG
Hiking9.90 Miles   5 Hrs      1.98 mph
990 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Never saw anyone,saw a couple of deer near the end. Storm close most of the hike, but never rained on us.The trail seems to meander the whole loop.
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Jul 31 2011
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Houston Trail - PATSPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 31 2011
DarthStiller
Hiking10.00 Miles 990 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   4 Hrs   25 Mns   2.26 mph
990 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners partners
HAZ - Event
IHike
wallyfrack
This was a nice hike to do in the summer to get away from the Phoenix heat. from Mesa, this is about the same amount of time to drive as to New River, which is the next closest area of trails that I've never done. Nice to be in some cool (90 degree) temps and pines in comparison.

the trail is pretty exposed in most parts, with some isolated shade from isolated patches of ponderosa pines. the entire trail appears to be old ATV roads that have been converted to the PATS trails system. Wally and Jennifer left me in the dust (as usual for me for most hikes)but were nice enough to wait up every now and again. We saw only a few hikers and mountain bikers, probably the same amount of both. The weather was fairly cool in the morning but got hot fairly quickly. We were done by 11:45am and back in Mesa by 1:30pm (after the obligatory gas station caffiene/chips stop).
Flora
Flora
Gooding's Verbena
Culture
Culture
HAZ Rides
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Jul 31 2011
IHike
avatar

 Photos 106
 Triplogs 87

48 female
 Joined Sep 06 2010
 Tucson, AZ
Houston Trail - PATSPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 31 2011
IHike
Hiking9.90 Miles 990 AEG
Hiking9.90 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   2.20 mph
990 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
DarthStiller
wallyfrack
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May 31 2010
azdesertfather
avatar

 Guides 12
 Routes 59
 Photos 1,195
 Triplogs 805

47 male
 Joined Apr 30 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Houston Trail - PATSPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 31 2010
azdesertfather
Hiking7.41 Miles 926 AEG
Hiking7.41 Miles   2 Hrs   2 Mns   3.64 mph
926 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Started in Chaparral Pines community, took its access trail into Tonto National Forest and linked up with Houston Mesa Trail. However, I ended up on another trail that the topo maps show as a jeep trail, that dumped me out northeast of Mesa del Caballo, just south of the Shoofly Ruins. I then hiked Shoofly Ruins and then just jogged down Houston Mesa Road to the Houston Mesa TH. This route was nice in that I went up on Houston Mesa, whereas the Houston Mesa Trail stays below it the whole time.

Heard an elk stomping around and snapping tranches in the bush off the trail leading to Houston Mesa from Chaparral Pines, but it was lost in the manzanita and I never actually saw it.
_____________________
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." — Henry David Thoreau
1 archive
Jan 30 2009
bbscout
avatar

 Routes 2
 Photos 26
 Triplogs 33

50 female
 Joined Sep 30 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Houston Trail - PATSPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 30 2009
bbscout
Hiking6.70 Miles 250 AEG
Hiking6.70 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns   2.68 mph
250 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
- Robert F. Kennedy
Aug 14 2008
tyrone anderson
avatar

 Photos 176
 Triplogs 13

54 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 payson, az
Houston Trail - PATSPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 14 2008
tyrone anderson
Hiking10.00 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles
100 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This hike is fairly easy. Easy to find and easy to hike. Do bring water. I looked all over the internet, Tonto National Forest and HAZ but could not find this hike. I live less than a mile from the trail head so I know it exists. I finally found information on the Town of Payson web site which tells all about it. This trail is part of PATS - (Payson area trail systems) imagine that!! Moving to this location 3 years ago and hiking this trail almost every weekend, I've become fairly familar with it. Since I started hiking this Houston Mesa Trail someone has done alot of work on it. Such as clearing debris, rerouting the trail that had been washed out, and the trail markings are very clear.

During the hike you will be in Ponderosa pine, Manzanita, lots of acorn bush, and various cactus and desert shrubbery. The trail is wide and you may run into horse back riders, mountain bikers,(maybe me on a M. bike) and the occasional quad rider, but not very often. There is a north loop and a south loop which begin about 3 miles in. Both loops are approximatly 3 miles also. So, 3 mile to the loop, 3 mile loop, and 3 miles back to the trail head. With mileage being a hair more then the 3,3,3, we come up with 10 miles for the hike.

There are other approaches to get you to just the loop, I haven't been to them and whats the fun in that?

Anyway, this hike is enjoyable to me, clearly marked, some nice veiws of the area, including the Rim.
_____________________
TWA
average hiking speed 2.23 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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