What would Mountain High Games be without a chance to get out in the mountains? That is at the heart of the ATV Trail Rides planned at the 2013 games.
Participants in the rides will experience some of Rim Country’s most seldom seen backcountry. They will also enjoy a barbecue dinner, a poker run and special entertainment.
There are three different rides planned over the course of the May 31-June 2 Mountain High Games.
UTVs and quads can participate. This ride starts at 5:45 p.m., Friday, May 31. The trail leaves from the Payson Event Center and is 16 miles long. Along the way participants will encounter gorgeous views of the Mazatzal Mountain Range.
This ride is meant to be a shorter ride due to the fact that it is an evening ride. Do not underestimate the beauty of this — the trail is surrounded on both sides by gigantic mountain ranges. Halfway through, riders will stop and enjoy a breathtaking sunset, perched on a large rock face overlooking the East Verde River.
During this time participants will also be serenaded by one of Payson’s own, town historian Jinx Pyle. He will share several stories of the region as well as sing some old ballads that will certainly provide a sense of nostalgia. This ride also goes right past one of the old mines, where miners back at the turn of the century drilled a hole through pure rock; whether they found gold or not is still a mystery. Don’t forget to bring a camera and a set of binoculars as well as a flashlight. There are a few rocky portions of this trail with a few steep inclines, but for the most part, this trail is rated “Beginner.”
UTVs and quads can participate. This ride starts at 8 a.m., Saturday, June 1 at the Payson Event Center and is 32 miles long. This will be a fun ride. Get ready to get up close and personal with the Mazatzal Mountain Range. This ride has some of the most beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding area. One of the defining features of this ride is a large mountain that is flat and resembles a table top, hence the name of the ride, Table Mountain.
This area is full of old mines where prospectors set out to make their fortunes; unfortunately lady luck was often brutal and offered up only misfortune. Full of twisting turns, a hill affectionately named by the locals as the “Rocky Bitch” awaits riders.
Enjoy old stories of this area from the guides exploring some of the most rugged landscape in Arizona. To also entertain participants, a poker run is part of this trail ride. At certain points along the way riders will receive playing cards. At the end of the ride they will have the chance to play the hand “dealt.” The best hand will walk away with a brand new television from Walmart, one of the sponsors of the games. This ride is rated “Intermediate.”
Royal Flush Mountain Ride – 22 Miles
Participants must trailer to the Royal Trailhead, which is approximately three miles from the Payson Event Center, for this ride.
This trail is full of rich history. This area is where one of the bloodiest family feud wars ever happened. You have all heard of the Hatfields and the McCoys. Rim Country had its own notorious feud between the sheepherding Tewksbury family and cattle-raising Grahams. Over about a five-year period there was more blood spilt between these two families than any other feud in the western United States.
Riders will also experience some of the most rugged, yet beautiful territory in this area. It is so rugged it is named the Hellsgate Wilderness.
At the end of one of the side trails, riders will have the opportunity to see the large canyon called Hole in the Ground as well as hear several stories as the trail passes by old mining claims that are said to still have “Gold in them thar hills.”
This ride is rated “Intermediate” with some rocky areas that would not be suitable for small children or unskilled riders.
The 2013 Mountain High Games ATV Trail Rides are sponsored by Rim Country Powersports.
Registration is limited to the first 50 riders and use of a helmet is required in all three rides.
Register from noon to 5 p.m., at the Payson Event Center Friday, May 31 or from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., Saturday, June 1.
The fee to participate in all three rides is $60 and includes the Friday night barbecue and a T-shirt; to participate in a single ride is $25, which includes a T-shirt. The fee for non-rider participants is $30 per person and includes admission to the Friday night barbecue and a commemorative T-shirt.
No UTV or ATVs under 250cc will be allowed on the trail. The driver of the UTV or ATV must be 16 years old or older with a valid drivers license. You will be asked to show your drivers license when you register. Vehicle must be street legal and you must have your OHV tag from the MVD.
Please pay close attention to the length of the ride you are signing up for. Each participant needs a full tank of gas for each ride.
Remember to Tread Lightly on these trails. Responsible riding, with respect for the land and the trails, will preserve your right to ride. Please don’t abuse this privilege.
To participate in the Mountain High Games trail rides, you will be required to sign a waiver of liability when you pick up your participant packet.
Please pay attention to all postings for changes each day.
All trails/roads used by the Mountain High Games are understood to be two-way. Even on narrow trails, you may find someone coming on an ATV from the opposite direction. Watch carefully for oncoming traffic on all roads and trails.
Please be courteous to other riders.
On each trail ride be prepared for possible rain, wind, or cold evening weather. Please pack snacks, food and water as needed on the trail.
Trail guides will review the rules with all participants before the ride. If you have any questions regarding the rules please ask the trail guide.