Atv Trail Rides Lead Games Events

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Three ATV trail rides are part of the 2012 Mountain High Games, one slated each day and each of varying lengths. There will be a 16-mile ride Friday night, a 32-mile ride and poker run on Saturday and a 22-mile trek on Sunday. Both the Saturday and Sunday rides are of intermediate difficulty; the Friday ride is ranked for beginners.

The first activity for the 2012 Mountain High Games is the Friday night ATV Snowstorm Mountain Trail Ride.

The ride will leave from the Payson Event Center at 5:45 p.m., after a barbecue dinner just for trail ride participants, and cover a 16-mile round trip route. It will conclude back at the Event Center at about 7:45 p.m.

Only 50 will be allowed to register for the trail rides, but it is not necessary to register for all three rides. The cost for the full event is $60 for riders and $30 for non-riders. The cost of a single ride is $25.

The Snowstorm Mountain Trail Ride will include a stop and entertainment by Jinx Pyle, who is Payson’s official historian, along with his wife, Jayne Peace. He will talk about some of the area’s history and share a few ballads.

There will be views of the Mazatzal Mountains, an overlook of the East Verde River, mine sites and more.

For the most part, the trail ranks at a “beginner” level.

The longest ATV trail ride takes place Saturday and includes a Poker Run (riders draw a card at various stops and the one with the best hand at the end will win a large television from Walmart). Called the Hellsgate ATV Ride, the route is 32 miles and will require trailering to the trailhead.

This is a new trail for the games with an elevation ranging from 3,000 feet to 6,440 feet at the summit of Horse Mountain.

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Riders will see both Tonto and Haigler creeks, archaeological sites and possibly catch sight of some of the wildlife found in the area — black bears, mountain lions, mule deer, gray foxes and javelina.

The trail will take riders through one of the most rugged, mountainous, wilderness areas in the West and it is rated at an “intermediate” level. It will start at 8 a.m.

The final activity of the Mountain High Games is a Sunday ATV trail ride, starting at 7 a.m. Called the Royal Flush Mountain Ride, this is a 22-mile round trip and rated “intermediate” in difficulty.

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Runners of all ages and skill levels are invited to participate in the 2012 Mountain High Games 5K Trail Run. Registration is between noon and 6 p.m., Friday, June 1, with check-in at 6 a.m., Saturday, June 2. The race starts at 7 a.m. The fee is $30. A cash award of $100 will go to the first place finishers in the men’s and women’s divisions, with $25 going to the second place in each division.

Participants will trailer to the trailhead, which is about three miles from the Payson Event Center.

This trail is full of rich history and is where one of the bloodiest grazing wars ever happened between sheepherders and cattle ranchers. It also covers some of the most rugged and beautiful territory in the area.

In addition to enjoying the beauty and challenge offered by the ride, participants will also get to hear about its history.

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