The Round Valley Trail begins in a residential neighborhood of Southeast Payson, Arizona. The trail can also be accessed at the south end near the Mazatzal Casino on the Tonto Apache Reservation. Motor Vehicles are prohibited from using this particular Payson Area Trail beginning at Gibson Court. However, hiking, mountain biking and horse back riding are allowed. The trail is 4.5 miles one way.
This trail winds through a juniper pine forest and is a combination of foot paths and wider 4 wheel drive roads. The Round Valley Trail delivers tremendous views of the Mogollon Rim and the Mazatzal mountain along the path. The trail is uphill from the trailhead at Gibson Court and tops out at 5200 feet before beginning its descent into the Round Valley area. The trail terrain varies and sections are covered in rock making it not ideal for trail running. Other sections are soft dirt.
The Round Valley Trailhead at Gibson Court
The Round Valley Trailhead at Gibson Court is located in Southeast Payson, Arizona. To access the Trailhead turn east on Phoenix Street from Highway 87 and head 1.3 miles to Gibson Court. Then turn right and head south and you will see the trailhead on your left. Visitors park along the road near the trailhead, but it is a residential neighborhood so avoid blocking any driveways.
The Round Valley Trailhead on the Tonto Apache Reservation
This trailhead is located near the Mazatzal Casino and Sonic at the south end of Payson. To access the trailhead turn east towards the Casino at the stoplight at the south end of Payson. Then turn again in front of the Casino and the Sonic and you will find the trailhead with a gate just south of the Sonic.
The Payson Area Trails System (PATS)
The Payson Area Trails System (PATS) is the beginnings of a world-class trail system established by the Town of Payson to offer enhanced recreational opportunities for Rim Country residents and visitors. It utilizes detached pathways, existing sidewalks, and bike lanes in Payson to form an interior trail network. This trail network mostly follows the perimeter of the town and connects to Forest Service roads and trails in the Tonto National Forest area on Payson’s periphery. The trails are open to hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. Some trails are open to off-road vehicles. The completion of the entire trail system is still in process.