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Exploring Milk Ranch Point - Payson, Arizona

Over a hundred years ago a man by the name or Rial Allen ran a dairy near the East Verde River in which he called Milk Ranch Point. Allen had originally come to the area as a founder of the town of Pine as a Mormon Pioneer settling into the area from Utah. He was known for producing cheese, butter, and milk in supporting more of the pioneers as they tracked down towards Tonto Basin.

Milk Ranch Point lays over the towns of Pine and Strawberry and is apart of the Mogollon Rim. The Rim rises 5000 feet above the Sonoran Desert floor below and marks the beginning of the Colorado Plateau. North of Payson the scenic pine-forested peninsula known as Milk Ranch Point extends south from the Mogollon Rim.

Milk Ranch Point is known for its great views and most desired campsites. At just over 7000 feet elevation, summers nights host absoultely perfect weather when compared to the desert below. You can find campsites right on the edge of the Mogollon Rim offer amazing vistas of jagged sandstone slopes and breathtaking sunsets. The distant Matazal Mountains form a jagged horizon. Experience elk bugling in the early morning or see the deer and wild turkey walking through camp.

The route is tougher than it looks, so bring more water than you think you’ll need plus sun protection and energy snacks.

Getting to these incredible views is a tad bit tougher than it may look. That is why we had to use Rim Country Powersport's new Kawasaki Teryx.

Length: 8 miles round trip.

Rating: Difficult.

Elevation: 5,400-7,332 feet.

Getting there: Pine Trailhead (south): From the intersection of State Routes 260 and 87 in Payson, go 15 miles north on SR 87 to the Pine Trailhead on the right. The trail begins at the Arizona Trail gate and map kiosk.

Rim access (north): From the Pine Trailhead, continue north on SR 87 to Rim Road (Forest Road 300). Turn right and go 1.3 miles to FR 218. Turn right and go 3.8 miles to the trailhead at the junction of FR 218 and FR 9385R. A high-clearance or four-wheel-drive vehicle is necessary and the route may be closed when wet or snowy.

For more adventure opportunities visit

Always remember to tag us when you share your adventure on social media using the hashtag #discovergilacounty

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