The Mountains of Arizona •
Snowstorm Mountain • Mogollon Rim Foothills
• Tonto National Forest
• Gila County

Snowstorm Mountain, Arizona
Snowstorm Mountain.
Snowstorm Mountain, Arizona
Lower ATV track.
Snowstorm Mountain, Arizona
Road bends here and starts to go uphill.
Snowstorm Mountain, Arizona
Two-track going upslope.
Snowstorm Mountain, Arizona
Starting to level off near the top.
Snowstorm Mountain, Arizona
The top.
Snowstorm Mountain, Arizona
View east.
Snowstorm Mountain, Arizona
View south.

Agave stalk!
Snowstorm Mountain, Arizona
View north, Mogollon Rim
Snowstorm Mountain, Arizona
Milk Thistle along the road.

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Date: May 12, 2020 • Elevation: 5,158 feet • Prominence: 208 feet • Distance: 2 miles • Time: 1 hour • Gain: 440 feet • Conditions: Sunny and lovely


Snowstorm Mountain is a low hill on the west fringe of Payson. The west slopes drop over a thousand feet down toward the East Verde River canyons, while the east slopes connect to other nearby peaks and hills in the immediate area. I was not expecting much, but came out highly impressed with this little hill.

I hiked the hill because it was already in the mid-afternoon, I had been inside all day and needed to get out for an hour or two. This was close and I knew no one would be here. I followed Main Street west to the ponds (and ducks). The street becomes Country Club and continues west, past a golf course and a sanitation facility. The road narrows and loses its pavement for about a mile, crossing a creek twice. The road then is paved again. Just before it starts up a steep grade, I pulled into a small clearing and parked.

I wanted a forest track (FR-500) that was up the road a little bit, but the pullout was too rough for my car. I walked the road to this track, then followed it in, heading west and staying low in a drainage. The track was rough and only suitable for an ATV. I saw recent prints but no people today.

The track runs about a half mile, staying low, then trends right and starts up hill, passing a gate along the way. Here, it gets much prettier. The track is a tow-track in the grass slopes, with low trees dotting the area but not growing so close together.

The track gains steeply, then trends left (west) and soon comes near the top. I left the track at a convenient spot and hiked through low scrub to the top. The views were fantastic in all directions, and up close, there were abundant wildflowers adding color to the area. I spent about ten minutes up here.

I hiked out the same way, the round trip covering a couple miles and taking less than an hour. I was quite pleased with this little journey. I was assuming I would have heavy brush and no views. Instead, this may be one of the lovelier hikes in the area. I got an hour of exercise, good medicine after a day cooped up inside answering emails.

(c) 2020 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. This report is not meant to replace maps, compass, gps and other common sense hiking/navigation items. Neither I nor the webhost can be held responsible for unfortunate situations that may arise based on these trip reports. Conditions (physical and legal) change over time! Some of these hikes are major mountaineering or backpacking endeavors that require skill, proper gear, proper fitness and general experience.