This time of year, the big challenge for the outdoor enthusiast is to find a trail at a higher elevation with good shade.
Many of the standard hikes in winter are too hot and exposed in August for all but those who have something to prove.
In August, a good bet is the Highline Trail, beginning at the 260 Trailhead.
From Payson, head east on Highway 260 toward Christopher Creek. Drive 23 miles until you see the well-marked trailhead on your left.
This is known among mountain bikers as one of the best trails to ride in Arizona. It is well maintained, shaded and beautiful. Knowing that, watch out for cyclists.
This is an easy hike. Since it is part of the 51-mile Highline Trail, you can hike as long as you want before turning around or set up a shuttle car at one of the other access points.
Bring plenty of water, and before you go, tell someone where you are going and when you will return.