Advice for trails in North East AZ

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Feb 6, 2012
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Novato, CA
Hey Mudders!

My family is planning a trip for Thanksgiving week and we want to check out the north eastern part of AZ. We are planning to rent a house with another family. Where would you suggest staying and what are some good sights and trails to hit?

I was looking at staying in Payson, Winslow or Page. Any other suggestions for a good place to make our home base?

I would like to do the Mogollon Rim and would love to get to monument valley, but that seems like it would be quite a drive to try and hit that in a day trip. I'm not planning on taking the camping gear, but could.

We want to do some hiking, mountain biking and off roading. I'll have my 2nd gen tacoma which has a mild lift, 33" tires, some armor and a locker. I'll be the only truck, so don't want to get into anything too technical, but I definitely need to hit some dirt!

You guys helped me with my trip to Prescott last year and I greatly appreciated it. Any advice you can lend would be welcome. Thanks!
 

JunkCrzr89

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Lots of cool stuff between Payson and Flagstaff, but that area is often covered with people. If you want to get away from people, the area between Springerville and Morenci, east of the Apache rez, is amazing.
White Mtns > San Fran Mtns, in my opinion.
 

JunkCrzr89

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Lots of cool stuff between Payson and Flagstaff, but that area is often covered with people. If you want to get away from people, the area between Springerville and Morenci, east of the Apache rez, is amazing.
White Mtns > San Fran Mtns, in my opinion.
Also, be aware that there is an elk hunting season that week. I think it’s bull elk rifle, but can’t remember. Wear some Orange if you’re out hiking around.
 
Joined
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Gilbert, AZ
I would choose Page between those three places that you mentioned. Monument Valley is not too far from there so you could make a long day trip out of it by also visiting Gooseneck State Park, Valley of the Gods, Moki Dugway and Muley Point. Near Page, there is an easy dirt road to Alstrom Point with the last mile being a bit technical, but still very easy. As for hiking near Page, you have Horseshoe Bend, the Vermillion Cliffs and the Lake Powell area. The Vermillion Cliffs have a lot of hiking trails but there are a couple that might require permit ( like the Wave). If you want to do an easy scenic loop, you can take the House Rock Road that connects the 89 with the 89A.
 
Joined
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Novato, CA
I would choose Page between those three places that you mentioned. Monument Valley is not too far from there so you could make a long day trip out of it by also visiting Gooseneck State Park, Valley of the Gods, Moki Dugway and Muley Point. Near Page, there is an easy dirt road to Alstrom Point with the last mile being a bit technical, but still very easy. As for hiking near Page, you have Horseshoe Bend, the Vermillion Cliffs and the Lake Powell area. The Vermillion Cliffs have a lot of hiking trails but there are a couple that might require permit ( like the Wave). If you want to do an easy scenic loop, you can take the House Rock Road that connects the 89 with the 89A.
Thanks for the suggestions! How is the water level at lake Powell ? Everything here in CA is depressingly low.
 

doc_random

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Chandler and Prescott, AZ
You probably know this, but it will be cool to cold depending on you blood thickness!
Dinosaur tracks just east of the 89 on 160. West of Tuba City.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument just east of Chinle. Your can drive the rim road on your own, but need a guide to drive in the canyon.

Longer day drive: 4 Corners, lunch in Shiprock town, Shiprock itself 4 miles WSW of the town, follow the volcanic fin south two miles, then circle west to Red Canyon, along 13 through Buffalo Pass (8482 ft). From there it depends on where home base is.
All of this is on Navajo or Hopi lands, not sure what the rules are for hiking or mountain bikes.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2005
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Phoenix, AZ
I'd avoid Winslow for an extended stay, not a lot of hotels, and limited restaurants. I'd stay on Holbrook as an alternative.

Payson is a nice mountain town with hotels and restaurants - I've always passed through here for camping and not stayed anywhere here.

East of Payson you could stay in Show Low/Pinetop/Lakeside (more mountain towns) which have lots of hotel and food options. These locations would let you get to Springerville/Holbrook/Monument Valley a little easier than Payson.

Besides Monument Valley, there are a lot of similar cool sights to be seen along US191 such as Canyon de Chilly, and north of Chinle as well in the Round Rock and Rock Point areas.

If you stay in Page you can take Hwy 98 east to US160 and travel to Kayenta for monument valley. Along this route you can also detour north on SR564 about 10 miles and hit the Navajo National Monument.
 

bwesty

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Far eastern AZ has some remote mountain towns. Alpine and Greer, about 8500' ft elevation both of which have some good places to stay in each. Unlimited public lands to explore from there along with HWY 191 south from Alpine being one of the most scenic and lesser traveled highways in the state. Fall colors, mountain vistas and abundant wildlife.
 

Azca

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If you do head up to Powell you can try to see the "Wave" have to get a permit though. Same basic area, no permit required, White Pocket. Unreal scenery! Another one to see, for hiking anyway, Antelope Canyon.
 

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