Location : City Trailhead – Payson AZ (NOBO Mile Marker 427.6 )
Weather: Slightly cloudy skies, starting temperature 65 degrees, Cool throughout the day.
Total Mileage Completed : 13.1 miles on AZT 11.5 miles on the approach trail (24.6 Total Miles)
This hike started at the City Trailhead very close to the Baby Doll Trailhead east of Payson. Tom and I messed up a little right off the bat veering left after we went thru the gate at the trailhead. You have to go across the creek bed and the trail is easy to follow moving toward the south. We took a cow trail next to the opening of the gate and bushwacked it for a mile like dummies…. Alltrails app helped us get back….
Anyhow the approach trail is a tough climb and…. take a look at the new AZT Guthooks trail app….. all the possible AZT approach trails are now included. When we did this hike, those were not there. Either-way prepare yourself for a good uphill climb for about 5.5 miles. Fortunately the trail is wide and smooth, so it was easy going. Once on the AZT (NOBO Mile Marker 427.6), we hiked south to get back to Rocky Ridge (NOBO 422.2) and the spot we left off on Hike #79. Getting back to Rocky Ridge was a tough little climb at the turn but we made it. Nice lunch spot with views.. as far as the eyes could see looking toward Flagstaff. Simply amazing actually. Worth the effort. Heading back we had to overshoot the connection trail and head down a couple miles in an effort to flip flop and cut our future Hike #84’s miles down. This section took us to a second turn around at mile marker 428.7 and a creek called “Seeps” Tough little climb back up and smooth fast pace downhill on the approach trail back to the Jeep. Nothing is better than constant smooth downhill after climbing all day. The AZT and the approach trail turned out to be a 5,748 feet up / down elevation day. One of the steepest in our AZT venture. One really good thing, was the trail was smooth, not a lot of rocks at all. Nice…. 🙂