The Derrick Trail is a 9.2 km route near Payson that can be used on its own but is often used in addition to other routes for backpacking trips. This trail is nicely forested. While there aren’t any big, expansive views, you’ll enjoy the shade, the quiet of the trees, and the birds and wildlife that abound here. Expect moderate traffic on this hike.
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Route Description for Derrick Trail
The Derrick Trail begins near Upper Tonto Creek Campground, making it a popular pick for backpackers on longer adventures. That being said, you can certainly enjoy this hike on its own as a shorter day hike. This trail is quite rocky, but it’s great if you like a good forest hike with lots of foliage. Birdwatchers will especially like this one.
If you intend to adventure beyond this route, we recommend bringing a GPS route or a map to help you find your way. Some of the trails in this area are harder to follow than others and cell reception can be spotty. Also, since this trail is so rocky, good boots are recommended.
From the trailhead, you’ll immediately head left to climb up a steep set of switchbacks. The trail soon evens out, although it never flattens. You’ll be climbing a consistent uphill grade until the end of the trail. See what birds you can spot, enjoy the peaceful forest, and keep on climbing to the trail’s end, which is at the junction with Highline Trail #31. From here, retrace your steps.
Getting to the Derrick Trail Trailhead
The trailhead for the Derrick Trail is on FR 289.
Derrick Trail Elevation Graph
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Derrick Trail Reviews
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