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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

GOAT CAMP RUINS

The "trailhead" on Tyler Parkway
GOAT CAMP RUINS Payson Unless you know what to look for, you’ll likely walk right past the Native American ruins for which this trail is named. That’s because the site is in an unrestored state. The remains of a pit house and various other structures are highly eroded. I could see the footprint of at least 4 ruins—but then again, I’m a geek. This short connector route makes for an interesting alternative access point when hiking the Houston Mesa Trail. Future plans for this six-acre site include development of a “passive archeological park” similar to the Shoofly Ruins off Houston Mesa Road. There’s no signage to lead you to the ruins, however, obvious footpaths leaving the main trail serve as clues. From the Goat Camp-Houston Trail junction gate you can go left to get to the horse camp or go right and hike 2.5 miles to the Houston Loop hike described in a separate blog entry. LENGTH: 0.3 mile one-way to the Houston Trail junction. ELEVATION: 5,080’ – 5,100’ RATING: easy THE RULES: open to foot traffic ONLY. Leave what you find—it’s illegal to remove items or alter heritage sites. Please be respectful. GETTING THERE: From the intersection of SR87/260 in Payson, go 1.8 miles north on SR87 to Tyler Parkway (across from Home Depot). Turn right and go 0.8 mile to the signed trailhead on the north (left) side of the road. For reference, look for a “staircase” near two utility boxes. INFO: Payson Area Trails System http://www.paysonrimcountry.com/MountainRecreation/HikingTrails/PaysonAreaTrailsSystem/GoatCampTrail.aspx

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