Updated: Nov 9, 2021
Ever feel you like need some time to be refreshed and rejuvenated? Payson is full of amazingly, beautiful hikes that will definitely leave you feeling just that. There are so many trails just miles away from where we live. With so many options and varying landscapes, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
One of my favorite places to hike and explore is in Whispering Pines, just outside of Payson. To get there can be a little tricky, but after you go once, you'll be able to find it easily next time... because there will be a next time.
From highway 87 heading north toward Pine, you'll turn right on to Houston Mesa Road. You'll follow this road for about ten minutes. Along the way, you'll pass a popular summer favorite, Water Wheel. Keep driving, although the trees are so tempting with their yellow hues, don't stop. Once you get to Whispering Pines, you'll drive until the road turns into an unpaved road, keep following it. After a little ways you'll come upon a sign for Washington Park, turn right and you'll be there after just 5 more miles. From here the road is unpaved for the rest of the way. Just keep looking for the signs pointing the way. You'll go through a quaint little neighborhood with a Snow White looking house, from there you're only a mile away. The last half mile is the roughest part of the road, but even then I can still drive it fine in my minivan. Just beware of potholes, and take it slow.
After you've parked you'll notice the trailhead and a display telling the history about this hike. It is also called the Colonel Devin hike and at the top near the Rim, there is an old abandoned railroad tunnel and fort. That section is a little difficult to hike and I do not advise doing it alone. It is super cool but the ground is so uneven, I wouldn't risk it alone.
This is mine and my children's favorite hike to do in the Rim Country. Every time I hike it, I feel like I've been transported to another place. It does not feel like Arizona at all. The entire way is followed by a spring. It is lined with ferns and berry bushes (raspberry, mulberry and blackberry) and so many deciduous trees that makes this hike so special in the fall.
Today we hiked with some ladies, most of whom I've never met, but was put together with one of my favorite ladies and owner of the Rim Runners store right off of the beeline highway in Payson. Margaret is an avid runner and she and store manager, Honey, are some of the sweetest people you'll meet. Their store is the perfect place for all of your running and hiking needs. Every Wednesday at 5:15PM (given that the weather is good) they have a fun group running event, all levels and ages welcome. Their store is open 6 days a week, Monday through Saturday from 10AM to 5PM. To find out more about this great store and what they have visit their website here:
The best running shoes I've ever owned came from this store as well as my super cute goodr flamingo sunglasses. The thing that is so invaluable about Honey and Margaret is their amazing customer service and their dedication to helping you find the best shoes for your needs. They'll watch you run or walk and tell you what you've got going on (for example, my feet over pronate when I walk) and help you find the best shoe to help with that. I love my New Balance running shoes and don't want to take them off because they are so comfortable. The goodr sunglasses are an awesome addition to your running needs because they do not bounce or slip off while you're running. They're so light and comfortable, I wear mine all the time. They have so many great products in addition to these things, it is really worth dropping by to see for yourself.
*Due to shipping issues, they are not as stocked up as they normally are.*
Overall, today was a great day. Being outdoors with my children and some new friends was certainly worth the bumpy roads getting there (literally) and the beauty of our Rim Country is one to really take in this season. Get out there and explore, and don't forget to stop by the Rim Runners store for all of your running and hiking needs. ❤️
Emily Newland, Writer at Payson Moms Blog
Emily is a local Payson mom to two adventurous, free spirited children. Emily and her husband, Tim, have been happily married and residing in the Payson area together for the last 9 years. Emily enjoys hiking, working out, baking, crafting, homeschooling her kiddos, and anything Disney. If you don't find Emily working on any of those things, you may find her feeding and/or taking care of her 3 goats, 2 cows, 3 cats, dog, horse or her several chickens!! Oh, and don't let us forget... her pet peacock as well!! We are so blessed to have Emily as a part of the Payson Moms Blog team!