Passage #25 - Whiterock Mesa
Location: The East Verde River to Twin Buttes
Length: 11.4 miles
Southern Trailhead: The East Verde River
- GPS Coordinates: 34.22915° N, 111.51299° W
- Access: From the town of Payson at the intersection of AZ 87
and Main Street; take Main Street west for 2 miles, which turns into Country Club
Drive. Near the end of Country Club Drive, the road passes a sanitation plant,
crosses a creek and continues on paved road for another 6 miles. This newly paved
road is referred to as Doll Baby Ranch Rd. or LF Ranch Rd. depending on which map
is being used. At this point it becomes a dirt doubletrack (FR 406). Continue on
FR 406 for approximately 3 miles, passing City Creek Trailhead and Doll Baby Ranch,
eventually arriving at the locked gate. This is the Doll Baby Trailhead; parking
and camping are allowed.
From the trailhead, walk around the gate and hike on the doubletrack for 3.9 miles.
The road will wind around the hills and eventually level out in the valley near
the ranch. The AZT will intersect the road from the west as a faint singletrack.
Northern Trailhead: Twin Buttes
- GPS Coordinates: 34.35914° N, 111.55736° W
- Access: From AZ 87, turn west into the town of Strawberry and
continue west on Fossil Creek Rd. for 2.8 miles. Turn left (south) onto FR 428
and continue for almost one mile and then turn right onto FR 194. Follow FR 194
for 4.2 miles. AZT markers indicate the end of Passage 25 and the beginning of
Hardscrabble Mesa, Passage 26.
Trail Route Description: Starting on the north side of the East Verde
River the trail follows the Rock Creek drainage up to Polk Spring and then climbs
up on Polles Mesa. It reaches Red Saddle Tank and a gate, another gate, turns to
the east and comes to Whiterock Spring. There is a steep climb back to the west
and then the trail begins working its way across Whiterock Mesa. After crossing
a drainage the trail climbs again along Saddle Ridge. There is another gate and
the trail continues mostly north to the wilderness boundary and another gate. The
trail passes through Saddle Ridge Pasture, another gate, and then reaches FR 194.
Season(s): All year. Snow can be present at higher
elevations after winter storms and lower elevations can be quite warm in
summer (current weather forecast)
Water: Water can usually be found at the East Verde River, Polk
Spring and Whiterock Spring. Water can sometimes be found in some of the
stock tanks along the route.
All water along this passage should be purified prior to use.
Mountain bikes are prohibited in the Mazatzal Wilderness.
Please respect all livestock operations in this area.
USGS Topographic Maps: Cypress Butte and Cane Springs Mountain.
Tonto National Forest map.
BLM Information Center maps.
For more information, contact:
Current Trail Information: