Arizona does not have many places that offer a chance to enjoy a year-round, natural mountain stream. Located just a little north of Payson, the Tonto National Forest has a hidden gem for 4x4 enthusiasts. During the summer months, the crystal clear water offers a welcome reprieve from the desert heat while offering a perfect staging point for exploring hundreds of miles of nearby trails.
If you get there early enough, you can grab one of the limited camping spots located right on the creek. This trail may not be well known, but it is certainly popular with people visiting there for decades. The creek offers fishing for trout and a wonderful wet canyon hike to Colcord Falls, located upstream about 1/2 mile east of the camping area. The waterfall is by far one of the best-preserved swim holes in the entire state. The waterfall isn't always running, but with the heavy snows in 2016 and rains in 2017, the region has had plenty of moisture to keep the falls running all year. It's an easy hike through a narrow wet canyon with a couple of hidden springs to look for along the way.
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