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Sunday, May 2, 2010

HUNTER CREEK 2010

HUNTER CREEK Tonto National Forest We made a return trip to this quiet little place on May 1, 2010. There was lots of water and nice, cool weather. This easy, water-themed stroll through sunny meadows and pine groves is an excellent off-the-beaten-path hiking destination. Because there’s no real trail, this trip into a bucolic glen appeals to those in search solitude. To find the route, hike uphill from the parking area, pass a gate and drop into the streambed. Here, it’s a good idea to mark your entry point, as it’s easy to miss 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 muddy banks of the creek. LENGTH: 2- 5 miles roundtrip RATING: easy ELEVATION RANGE: 6,100-6,160 feet BEST SEASONS: March - November 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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