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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.
    882 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    18.5 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

    South Fork Deer Creek Trail


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    Table of contents

    The South Fork Deer Creek Trail is an adventurous, hard 18.5 km hike in the Tonto National Forest. This route climbs into a canyon underneath Mount Peeley, offering a very remote and quiet hiking experience. Because this route is so quiet, it is prone to suffering from overgrowth. Bring some clippers and wear long pants! Expect light traffic.

    Route Description for South Fork Deer Creek Trail

    The South Fork Deer Creek Trail is an intrepid hike that provides a truly remote, far-from-it-all feeling. It’s secluded, quiet, and quite impressive. Between the Mesa area and Payson, it’s not difficult to reach. The downside of this route being so remote is that it’s not always maintained the whole way through. Bring some clippers and wear long pants to cut down on scratches.

    This hike doesn’t have too much shade, so we recommend avoiding it in the summertime and bringing lots of water no matter what time of year you visit. A hat and sunscreen are also good to bring if you’re visiting on a sunny day. In the spring, there’s a nice balance between weather and the foliage coming alive from the rain.

    From the trailhead, you’ll take trail #46 (on the right of #47, don’t stay left by accident), keeping left where #45 splits off on the right. You’ll climb up into the canyon, with a consistent grade throughout most of the hike. The route ends at the junction with FR 201, where you can turn back and retrace your steps.

    Getting to the South Fork Deer Creek Trail Trailhead

    The trailhead for the South Fork Deer Creek Trail is off SR 87 near the intersection of Claypool-Jakes Corner Highway.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground:


    • When to do:


    • Pets allowed:

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly:


    • Route Signage:


    • Crowd Levels:


    • Route Type:

      Out and back

    South Fork Deer Creek Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather


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