Goat Camp Ruin is located in Payson and was occupied from about 750 to 1280 AD. The builders/occupants were either under Hohokam influence or Hohokam colonists, based on pottery, rounded room corners, and other artifacts.

The current Payson Arizona Trails System (PATS) on Goat Camp skirts the east side of the Native American Ruins, and connects the trail user from Tyler Parkway to the USFS Houston Trail on the north side of the site.  This trail is approximately 0.3 miles in length until you reach the Houston Trail connector.

The Rim Country Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society with the help of Scott Wood’s assistance (an expert in southwestern archaeology), proposed creating an archaeological interpretive site as well as a hiking trail for this 6-acre parcel of land, similar to that at nearby Shoofly Ruin


Basic operational information for the park is showcased here.  Simply click on the "+" for specific details.  For more info visit the website below.

Physical Address & Contact Info:

North side of Tyler Parkway 1000 W. Tyler Parkway, Payson, AZ 85541 For Goat Camp Trail info contact the Town of Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department at 928-472-5110

Hours of Operation:

There are no set hours for visiting Goat Camp Ruin. Come at your leisure.

Driving Directions:

From Phoenix" Go North on Highway 87 to the Town of Payons. Go through the intersection of Highways 87 and 260. Keep going strait through Town until you get to get to your 2nd round about. Keep right and turn right on to Tyler Parkway. The trail is marked by a set of wooden stairs that goes up on the north side of the road. Be on the look out for them as they may be hard to spot.


During the summer months it can be warm. Make sure you have water with you before you set out on the trail. Winter can be quite cold so have extra clothes if needed. Spring and Fall are quite nice weather months.

Fees & Passes:

There is no fee to experience Goat Camp Ruin.

Visitor Center:

There is no visitors center for this attraction.

Goat Camp Ruin - Hiking Information:

Unless you know what to look for, you’ll likely walk right past the Native American ruins for which this trail is named. That’s because the site is in an unrestored state. The remains of a pit house and various other structures are highly eroded. I could see the footprint of at least 4 ruins—but then again, I’m a geek. This short connector route makes for an interesting alternative access point when hiking the Houston Mesa Trail. Future plans for this six-acre site include development of a “passive archeological park” similar to the Shoofly Ruins off Houston Mesa Road. There’s no signage to lead you to the ruins, however, obvious footpaths leaving the main trail serve as clues. From the Goat Camp-Houston Trail junction gate you can go left to get to the horse camp or go right and hike 2.5 miles to the Houston Loop hike described in a separate blog entry. LENGTH: 0.3 mile one-way to the Houston Trail junction.ELEVATION: 5,080’ – 5,100’ RATING: easy THE RULES: open to foot traffic ONLY. Leave what you find—it’s illegal to remove items or alter heritage sites. Please be respectful. GETTING THERE: From the intersection of SR87/260 in Payson, go 1.8 miles north on SR87 to Tyler Parkway (across from Home Depot). Turn right and go 0.8 mile to the signed trailhead on the north (left) side of the road. For reference, look for a “staircase” near two utility boxes.

Photo Credit:  www.azarchsoc.org

Photo Credit:  Steven C. Price

Photo Credit:  Cathy Hunt

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