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Monday, July 27, 2009

HUNTER CREEK

HUNTER CREEK Tonto National Forest Those in search of solitude will appreciate this off-the-beaten-path stroll along a trickling waterway embellished with sun-dappled meadows. To find Hunter Creek, hike uphill from the parking area, pass a gate and drop into the streambed. To make your return trip easier, mark your entry point, as it’s easy to miss it on the way out. Once at the creek, head right (south west) and follow the babbling brook, taking time to explore terraced waterfalls, a spring, and a crumbling stone foundation. This is also a good place to test your animal track identification skills on the dozens of footprints that clutter the stream’s muddy margins. HIGHLIGHTS: seldom-visited, creek side ramble LENGTH: 2- 5 miles roundtrip RATING: easy ELEVATION: 6,100-6,160 feet DRIVING DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX: 125 miles GETTING THERE: From Payson, go east on Highway 260 for 25 miles to Colcord Road (Forest Road 291). Go right and continue .3 mile and park on an unmarked dirt road on the right where there’s a barbed wire gate visible roughly 40 yard farther up the road. INFORMATION: 602-225-5200 or fs.fed.us/r3/tonto

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