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Sunday, May 2, 2010


GORDON CREEK FALLS Payson One of my favorite "who-knew" hikes was especially fine on May 1, 2010. With all the rain we had this winter, the falls were magnificent! They should be running well for a few more weeks before slowing down for the summer---so get out there soon! Just minutes from downtown Payson, in a fragrant ponderosa pine forest, Gordon Creek Falls spills over a 25-foot escarpment into a cool swimming hole. The falls run best from late March through mid-May and after summer monsoons. BEST SEASON: March - October LENGTH: 3 miles roundtrip RATING: moderate ELEVATION: 6,200’ DRIVING DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX: 125 miles northeast GETTING THERE: From Phoenix, go north on SR87 to the intersection with SR 260 in Payson. From there, go east (right) on SR260 for roughly 25 miles to Colcord Road (Forest Road 291) near milepost 277. Turn right and go southeast for 1.3 miles and park in a turnout near a green gate just south of some power lines. To get to the falls, hike down the FR291 a few yards to a road that’s blocked with a “road closed” sign. Shimmy under the fence if necessary  (it's legal) and hike down the dirt road. Pass through a gate and go left at the crossroads. At the second fork, go right. Turn left at the third junction and continue to the creek. From here, go right and follow the creek to the falls. Total one-way hiking distance to the falls is 1.5 miles. INFORMATION: Tonto National Forest (928) 474-7900 or

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