The Houston Loop is so accessible that it's often written off.
The four-mile loop passes several incredible outlooks, some perfect resting places great for lunch and an afternoon of leisurely escape and conversation and a couple metates along the way.
Unless you like long drives to the trailhead, this trail is perfect to just about any level of hiker.
To get there, drive to the north end of Payson on Highway 87 in the direction of Pine. Drive through the roundabout and take a right on Houston Mesa Road. The trail is well marked and there is a large parking area.
The network of trails that starts here can also be accessed from the Chaparral Pines subdivision and across the road from the entrance to Mesa del Caballo.
For more complete information on the loop itself and other hikes in this network, there is a mile-by-mile description in "Day Hikes and Trail Rides in Payson's Rim Country," available at the Forest Service office.