Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult.
Description: All of the hard-core action on this trail takes place in the first 1.3 miles, where the trail follows a rocky wash bottom. This section can be bypassed by following an unmarked forest road that meanders along the wash. Most people exit the wash at the 1.3 mile mark to avoid an extreme obstacle, dubbed “The Filter”.
Route is open to unlicensed vehicles, but the wash is difficult for ATVs and UTVs.
Wash bottom is a mix of loose and solid rocks with ledges up to 2 feet high. Tires are often forced against sharp rock edges possibly leading to sidewall cuts. Make sure to carry a spare. Standing water in places increases difficulty.
“The Filter” is an obstacle primarily for buggies, but some vehicles with nice list and really big tires can get up with a help of a winch. Breakdowns and body damage are likely on this obstacle. This and other obstacles have bypasses though.
Elevation: 5,258 to 5,747 ft. Best time to go: April – October.
Time & Distance: 4.6 miles as described. Allow 2 to 4 hours depending on vehicle capability and lines taken
Trail Conditions: Tonto National Forest, Payson Ranger District. Call (928) 474-7900.
Directions to the Trail: From the intersection of Hwy 87 and Hwy 260 in Payson, drive north 1.9 miles on 87 and turn right on Houston Mesa Road. Follow this paved road northeast 4.9 miles and turn right on Pyeatt Draw Road, F.S. 198. Continue on dirt road northeast 4.5 miles to unmarked rocky wash on the right..
Return Trip: After rejoining Pyeatt Draw Road turn left to return to start in 3.9 miles, then continue another 4.5 miles to paved Houston Mesa Road. A left turn here takes you back to Hwy 87 on the north side of Payson.
View Pyeatt Draw in a larger map for even more DETAILS!
Get yourself and your TOY ready for the trip: Make sure both you and your vehicle are ready for your next adventure.
Before you venture out on your offroading trip you need to make sure you are prepared for emergencies. Even if nothing happens to you or your vehicle, you might come across someone who needs help. Short of always having your full-on Bug-Out-Bag with you, you should at least have some basic emergency items. It might seem obvious to some, but you should get yourself a tool box with appropriate tools and leather gloves, good first aid kit, fire extinguisher, set of jumper cables, emergency blankets (stored in heavy plastic bag – both are useful), flashlight, tow strap and some extra water. I would also suggest a recovery strap, a military folding shovel, heavy duty garbage bags, and a hand crank self powered weather radio. These items are not expensive, but they just might save your day.
Another thing you should definitely do before you leave is to save Joe’s number in your cellphone in case you find yourself in need of recovery in the middle of nowhere. Joe is the owner of Arizona 4×4 Off Road Recovery and has become a real hero to many in the Arizona offroad community. His number is (602) 697-8306.
If you’re ready for a next adventure and want to plan it right, check out some of these trail guides – Arizona has so many awesome destinations to explore!