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Hike Barnhardt Trail

Payson, Arizona

based on 4 reviews



8 miles

Elevation Gain

1912 ft

Route Type



Added by emma harries

This is a challenging 8-10 mile hike (depending on how far in you go) leading to a few waterfalls. The Barnhardt trail is hidden off the side of the 87 and feels extremely secluded.

To get to the trailhead, use the turnoff of highway 87 labeled Barnhardt trail (has a marked sign coming from both Payson and Phoenix). Barnhardt road is just over 4 miles and is unpaved. The road can be driven on by lower clearance cars because the terrain is not too rocky. Once at the trailhead the trail is very easy to follow. Right from the beginning you will gain elevation, the trail has many switchbacks then gradually gets steeper and steeper. About 4 miles in, a small waterfall can be heard from the trail. The small waterfall is accessible though not visible due to large canyon walls. Throughout the hike there are many shady spots under trees, unique rock formations and stunning views. Some parts have steep cliffs. This hike is not recommended for younger kids. The lush greenery and pretty flowers in the spring are beautiful to see. Though the trail being in the transition zone of the Mazatzal Wilderness in Tonto National Forest you will see cactus and desert like plants in some areas and ponderosa pines in others. Trail can be done in about 3-5 hours or more depending on speed and fitness.

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

Hike Barnhardt Trail Reviews

This is a decently pretty hike in the spring and fall months, but you should definitely go in winter (bring your spikes, it get's slippery). The main reason is that the waterfall freezes, and it's stunning.

The hike up the Barnhart trail is absolutely beautiful. The views are fantastic and several waterfalls can be found during the cooler months. The best waterfall on this hike is tucked in a narrow canyon out of sight from the trail. Just listen for the water though as it is just feet away.

This is hike is beautiful! I would start earlier in the day so you can go all the way! There are even waterfalls and three different paths you can take to hike up the mountain!

This trail was an awesome escape from the Phoenix heat, but I wish so many people hadn't had the same idea as me. Luckily we got their early enough that we only passed lots of hikers on our way back down. And we saw a gopher snake cross the trail too!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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