This weekend, head south.
I'm sure you've seen the sign to Ballantine Trail on your way to and from the Valley.
The Pine Creek Loop connects to the Ballantine Trail and offers great views. It's the perfect hike if weather is cold in Payson.
Head south on the Beeline Highway toward Phoenix for 40 miles. The trailhead is well-marked and is on your left.
The total loop is only three miles. Follow the trailhead until the first junction where you can turn either north or south. Head south.
For more information on the longer trails in the network around Ballantine, read "Day Hikes and Trail Rides in Payson's Rim Country," available at the Forest Service office.