This #MountainCrushMonday, founder Hanna Rose is bringing you back to a Mountain Chicks classic, the Payson Water Wheel. This hike features a canyon-hugged waterfall and a giant log people use for jumping into the pool below. Enjoy and remember to become a member of #mtnchicks when you're done reading!
Water Wheel is a C L A S S I C Payson, AZ hike. Like if you’ve hiked in Payson and haven’t done Water Wheel, you’re missing out. It’s a trail both Dani and I have done a couple times. It’s also among the first couple hikes we did together.
How busy the trail is depends on the season. The first time I did this trail in the summer, there were people everywhere. We were lucky to get a parking spot! The only plus side of this trail being so populated is we could follow the masses to the destination. This came in handy when Dani and I went at the end of February, because I knew exactly where to go! There were a few turns when Dani was like “Are you sure this is the way?” lol. There are a couple mini waterfalls along the way, which are gorgeous! We took some photos to add to the collection.
The trail gets to a point where the marked path is a little unclear. You do have to cross the stream a few times. This is where strategic rock jumping comes in handy. Unless, of course, you want to walk through the freezing water (at least in February lol). The trail veers left as you walk among small ponds the stream runs through. Once we got the the “water wheel” there were a few people hanging out on the rocks, but no one in the water. Dani and I were determined to get on top of the log. The only hard part? Don’t fall off into the freezing waterfall. The log moves. Yogis- this would be a perfect test for your balance.
This hike is perfect for the summer for cooling off from the Arizona heat, but there will be a ton of people (especially if you go after 11am). If you go during the colder months, treat yourself to nice cup of hot chocolate from the Beeline Cafe after!
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