4.7 / 5 ( 7 reviews )
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, in the Tonto National Forest, is one of the best hidden gems in the state for 4x4 enthusiasts to do that. This trail has recently been opened back up to the public after a restoration closure for abuse by users and a recent fire. 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 in the week you can grab one of the limited camping spots located right on the creek. This trail may not be well known but it certainly is popular with people who have been visiting there for decades. The creek offers fishing for trout and a wonderful wet canyon hike to Colcord Falls which is located upstream about a 1/2 mile east past 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 hidden springs to look for along the way.
For individual use only, not to be shared.