First Water

4.5/5 (4 reviews)
Payson, Arizona (Gila County)
Last Updated: 07/07/2021
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Trail Information

Highlights

In Arizona, 4x4 access and camping along a flowing creek is a pretty rare opportunity. This particular camping area has recently opened, allowing users easy access to the Mogollon Rim Country around Payson, Arizona. The nearby First Crossing recreation site is often a starting point for hikers beginning their trek up to the Waterwheel Park, that's found just to the north. With the creek flowing year-round and an abundance of large shade trees, it's a wonderful reprieve from the Arizona heat. Using this area as a base camp allows visitors easy access to all kinds of trails and adventures while still being close enough to all the conveniences of Payson just 7 miles away.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.5/5 (4 reviews)
Tom
15000
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 09/25/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This is a really fun little trail with a great creek side camping area at the end. It's well worth the time to drive down and simply take a break along the creek. Great find.
Bobby Nelson
Official Crew
62800
Status: Open
Visited: 07/07/2021

Arizona National Forests and State Lands are back open for travel. There are still some very important fire restrictions in place. These restrictions can often change by specific areas.
Bobby Nelson
Official Crew
62800
Status: Temporary Closure
Visited: 06/25/2021

Tonto National Forest officials will close the state’s largest national forest due to ongoing extreme fire danger beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, June 25. The forest is implementing this forest closure as a precaution to protect the health and safety of the public, employees and firefighters by reducing the risk of human-caused fires. No one is allowed in the closure area, including Forest Service personnel, unless they are responding to a wildfire or other emergency or patrolling to ensure enforcement of the closure. The order shall remain in effect until July 31, 2021 or until rescinded, whichever occurs first. Residents or businesses using roads in the restricted area to the extent necessary to access their private property are exempt.
Bobby Nelson
Official Crew
62800
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 04/05/2019

We absolutely love this camping spot and now we love it even more. While the water levels were up, we decided to stop in to hike back into the canyon. What we weren't expecting was to run into a young bald eagle hopping from waterhole to waterhole. We never got any good pictures of it but it was still a unique experience in Arizona. The area was clean but there was a lot of fallen trees from the recent rains. The pin stripes are BRUTAL coming in.
Trail Review: First Water - Bobby Nelson
Trail Review: First Water - Bobby Nelson
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