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Members of the Payson Packers pause along the Barnhardt Trail to catch their breath and take in the magnificent vistas afforded of the surrounding landscape.

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Hiking the Barnhardt Trail — you can never see everything it offers

Stepping out of my Jeep, at the parking area at the beginning of the Barnhardt trailhead, I shield my eyes from the bright morning sunlight five miles up a rutted dirt road, leading up from Highway 87. Cactus and stands of juniper crowd together on the mesa, jockeying for space in the rocky soil beneath a hazy, blue sky. My companions, all members of the Payson Packers, have been here before, but we keep coming back because we know this four-mile trail never disappoints.

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