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    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    947 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    19.0 km
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Gold Ridge Trail


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    Table of contents

    The Gold Ridge Trail is a bit of a hidden gem. This route in the Tonto National Forest near Payson is almost 19.3 km long and rated as hard. For that work, you’ll find an awesome view of the surrounding mountains from the top. For a remote trail, it’s quite well-maintained and well-signed, making the hike quite enjoyable. There are also dispersed campsites along the trail if you want to make a multi-day trip out of the trail. Bring lots of water and prepare for a fantastic day out!

    Route Description for Gold Ridge Trail

    The Gold Ridge Trail is a real treat, with wide-open views and little traffic. For a route that gets so few hikers, it’s remarkably well-maintained and well signed, so the trek out is more enjoyable than you might expect. It’s a hard hike with a solid elevation profile, so bring more water than you think you’ll need and avoid hiking this route in the heat of summer.

    There are dispersed camping sites along this route you can use to make a multi-day trip out of this route.

    From the trailhead, set out and immediately keep left onto Gold Ridge Trail #47. Go through the gate a mile and a half in. The steepest section of the trail occurs between 2.7 km and 4.5 km, but be prepared to still feel like you’re climbing outside of those points, too. You’ll hike through grasslands initially, then into a burn area from many years ago. Continue through a corridor of manzanita and chaparral.

    The trail relaxes a bit near the top, where you can truly appreciate the beauty of your surroundings. From the turnaround point, you’ll retrace your steps to the trailhead.

    Getting to the Gold Ridge Trail Trailhead

    The trailhead for the Gold Ridge Trail is near the junction of routes 87 and 188.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground:

      Various backcountry

    • When to do:


    • Pets allowed:

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly:


    • Route Signage:


    • Crowd Levels:


    • Route Type:

      Out and back

    Gold Ridge Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather


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