Length: 12 miles
Located north of Payson just below the Mogollon Rim, the East Webber Trail provides a refreshingly cool, enjoyable walk through some extremely secluded woods. (Perhaps the main reason for the isolation is the fact that the only access to the East Webber Trail is via the Geronimo Trail, which when added to the East Webber Trail makes for a full 12-mile hike.)
Beginning at the trailhead for the Geronimo Trail, the trail briefly passes along the famous Highland Trail before connecting to an old jeep trail that has now become Geronimo Trail. Following this path, the trail slowing climbs through the surrounding forest for approximately 3-miles before connect with the remote East Webber Trail.
Following along East Webber Creek, the East Webber Trail is remarkably well-marked for a trail that seemingly sees so little traffic (the Boy Scout Camp located nearby is likely responsible for this.) The East Webber Trail is a pleasant little trail that works its way through some remarkably lush forest (the number of ferns and wildflowers along this trail was quite amazing); however the true star of this trail is the East Webber Creek itself. The trail repeatedly meanders back and forth across the creek, allowing for a perfect mixture of forest hike and water play. Unfortunately, the final segment of the East Webber Trail is overgrown and extremely difficult to navigate, so we were unable to complete the full trail. However, after a long rest along the creek banks, we did not feel too bad about returning to the trailhead - and I doubt our poor feet could have handled much more walking.
I will advise extra attention be paid at the initial segments of trails; after a long day of hiking, we had extreme difficulty remember where exactly we turned onto the Geronimo Trail (though had we just kept walking we would have realized all our worry was unnecessary - the trail could not have been more clearly marked.) Also make sure you return on the LEFT segment of the Highland Trail - we passed a good 20 minutes of rigorous climbing before we realized we'd headed the wrong direction. Still, the cool temperates, lush forests, and scenic creek made for an enjoyable day.
To view more photos of the East Webber Trail, click here.