Pieper Spring, Payson, Arizona

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Posted: July 27, 2009

Category: Arizona, North America, United States, View All

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Description

No spout, but this water pours straight off the rock face and trickles on down towards the East Verde River. This area is clean, but difficult to get to.

http://arizonahighways.com/static/index.cfm?contentID=232

Nearest Address

Payson, Arizona 85541

Directions from Nearest Address

Start from Payson, Arizona:

Head NORTH on BEELINE HWY S/AZ-87 toward E FRONTIER ST.
Turn RIGHT onto HOUSTON MESA RD/NF-199. Continue to follow HOUSTON MESA RD. Turn RIGHT onto CONTROL RD/NF-64 (Portions unpaved). Turn SLIGHT LEFT onto NF-199 (Portions unpaved). Turn RIGHT to stay on NF-199 (Portions unpaved). Turn RIGHT onto NF-32 (Portions unpaved). End at Washington Park, AZ

The three-quarter-mile trip to the spring at the Washington Park Trailhead can be reached from the parking lot. The path heads north down a gentle slope about 70 yards until it crosses the river — only a dozen feet wide and maybe 10 inches deep at this spot. Conveniently placed stepping-stones provide a dry crossing at the lower end of a shallow pool ringed with bright-yellow monkey flowers. After walking up a short slope to the Highline Trail (No. 31) sign, we turn left onto an old overgrown logging road that parallels the river.

A 150-yard stroll up the road amid ponderosa and fir trees leads to the visible scars of the 1990 Dude Fire. Blackened logs offer mute testimony to the fury of the flames. Sweet white blossoms decorate a thicket of raspberry bushes while Gambel oaks and bracken ferns pioneer the newly opened slope. Downed trees crisscross the road and create a barrier to hiking. The logjam can be avoided by bushwhacking to the left, but surefooted hikers can have fun clambering over the logs.

After a hundred or so yards of careful picking, we leave the tangled logs behind and see in the grass the first rusted implements from the old hatchery enticing us forward. Another 200 yards of casual walking through shady silence, and the meadow of the hatchery appears.

A bit of pipe here, a hunk of timeworn metal there alert us to its presence. Maple and apple trees decorate the meadow. The former holding ponds overflow with an unruly mass of green, decorated with vincas’ periwinkle-colored blossoms resembling tiny fan blades.

This stream is frigid, and only about 100 feet upstream from here is the birthplace of the spring. You will have to fight your way through a thorny raspberry thicket to find the spring. Surrounded by a jungle of cut-leaf coneflowers, water gushes from the slope.

Vital Information

  • Fee: None
  • Access: Public
  • Flow: Continuous
  • TDS: N/A
  • Temp: N/A
  • pH: N/A

Hours Spring is Open:

N/A

GPS:

N/A

Map Link: Pieper Street Spring Map

Submitted by: Andrew Fiala

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