Hellsgate Wilderness Trails

Payson, Arizona

0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars
0 Reviews
0 out of 5
Knifing down off the mogollon rim to the Salt River, Tonto Creek is the centerpiece of the Hellsgate Wilderness. Cutting deeply into granite, Tonto and its main tributary, Haigler Creek, have carved deep canyons that rise in places to more than 1,500 feet above the stream bottoms. The wilderness derives its name from the turbulent confluence of Tonto and Haigler Creeks, which pioneer settlers dubbed Hells Gate. Plants associated with the Sonoran Desert—saguaro cactus, ocotillo, agave, and cholla—grow in the lower elevations of the wilderness. The riparian gallery features willow, sycamore, cottonwood, ash, and Arizona walnut. At mid-level elevations you find scrub oak, alligator juniper, piñon, and manzanita. Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir grow in the higher, cooler elevations.

Hellsgate Wilderness Trails Professional Review and Guide

"Knifing down off the mogollon rim to the Salt River, Tonto Creek is the centerpiece of the Hellsgate Wilderness. Cutting deeply into granite, Tonto and its main tributary, Haigler Creek, have carved deep canyons that rise in places to more than 1,500 feet above the stream bottoms. The wilderness derives its name from the turbulent confluence of Tonto and Haigler Creeks, which pioneer settlers dubbed Hells Gate.

Plants associated with the Sonoran Desert—saguaro cactus, ocotillo, agave, and cholla—grow in the lower elevations of the wilderness. The riparian gallery features willow, sycamore, cottonwood, ash, and Arizona walnut. At mid-level elevations you find scrub oak, alligator juniper, piñon, and manzanita. Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir grow in the higher, cooler elevations."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Payson
Distance: 24
Trail Type: Several options
Skill Level: Easy to Difficult
Trailhead Elevation: 3,000 feet
Top Elevation: 6,400 feet
Local Contacts: Tonto National Forest, Payson Ranger District
Local Maps: USGS Diamond Butte, McDonald Mountain, Sheep Basin Mountain, Buzzard Roost Mesa, Payson South, Gisela
Driving Directions: Directions to Hellsgate Wilderness Trails

Recent Trail Reviews

There are no reviews for this trail.

Trail Photos

Activity Feed

May 2018