Explore Payson - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Absolutely beautiful trail. So much green, so close to Phoenix, and about 20° cooler. The creek is gorgeous and refreshing. The trail runs right next to the creek most of the way. The trail is very easy, very wide, and mostly flat except for a few uphills as you get further in. The waterfall is small but pretty and a good place to relax. Past the waterfall is a more challenging trail that climbs right up the mountain to Promontory Butte, which offers an amazing scenic lookout. I've been to Horton Creek 3 times and enjoyed each time.

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike, not sure why this is rated as moderate. Once you get to the waterfall the real hike begins in one mile you will climb 1400+ feet up the face of the rim. The trail is pretty much non existent I had to follow stacks of rocks and build my own in some spots, as my phone had died and I was on my own. All trails, say this is a 4 mile 1900 ft elevation gain when I got to waterfall i was like there is now way I hiked 1900 ft. I pulled up all trails and seen I still had 1 mile to go. I did not want to miss out on anything and pressed on. Take lots of water and food as that last mile is ruff. If all you want to do is hike to the waterfall then I would say this hike is easy.

Hiked this trail with our dog and she thoroughly enjoyed it! However, me being from Colorado, when I read that there was a river, I was expecting an actual river. It's more of a little tiny stream that springs up in the middle of the trail and then follows the trail for a couple hundred yards. Also, if you're like me, your ankles will be sore by the end from almost constantly walking on the edge of the ditch/trail. Overall, still a fun trail that took us about an hour and a half to complete.

Lots of ATV use and little side cuts from them.

hiking
9 days ago

Perfect for someone from the Phoenix area because you'll get your fix of wildflowers and a woodland paradise, including waterfalls. It's a charming hike, and good for summer because it's shaded and has the cool water of the creek nearby.

Loved it, next time I’m starting earlier than 9 am though!

on Horton Creek Trail

15 days ago

great place to be naked!!

Great hike for beginners and those not wanting to be physically challenged too much. Great scenery and amazing boulders to be see. Bring lots of water!

hiking
17 days ago

Was an amazingly beautiful hike! Lots of small waterfalls along the creek! Also lots of bugs and mosquitos! Take some repellent with you. Weather was amazing!

hiking
19 days ago

Hiked 7/29/18 with a friend and two dogs. Forgot how beautiful and lovely this trail is. Not too difficult, lots of water spots to stop at. Water is low right now but still worth it. Started early am Sunday, saw a couple people hiking out, and tons of people coming back, was getting pretty busy. Drive all the way until you cross the small bridge, park immediately in the lot to your left, cross back over the bridge on foot and up the little dirt road hill to start the trail.

Such a great trail! Easy little hike/trail, constant river close to trail at all times. Great for dogs and kids too!! There is a bathroom next to the parking spots as well. Lots of little spots to just hang out by the river the whole way up. Make sure to bring water and keep in mind the temperature of the ground if you have a dog (even at 85 degrees the dirt and sand gets up to 100-105 degrees, which is waaay too hot for any pup)

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful lake, breathtaking views, wonderful hike. Be careful when taking your dogs, there are quite a few off leash dogs at this lake.

Nice looping hike along the lake. Busy place, but worth the drive.

Good loop around the lake. Easy for kids.

hiking
26 days ago

Note - this IS NOT closed. Very easy trail, not even moderate. Beautiful with water all along and a great water spot at the end. It is best for a quick simple 4 mile in and 4 mile back out or better yet as the last leg in the 10 mile Derrick - Highline - Horton loop. to read about that, check out the reviews under Derrick Trail.

Super sonic

hiking
1 month ago

Went on a Wednesday morning, arrived around 9:00 AM- did not pass one person on the trail! People were on the shore fishing, but didn’t see anyone on the actual hiking path. In shade most of the time. We left around 11:00 AM, right as it started to get pretty warm (85-90). Perfect day for me and my pup!

This was a nice and easy hike. It would be nice for children because it’s relatively flat and not a lot of climbing. There weren’t any spectacular views but it was still fun.

hiking
1 month ago

Good workout, but bring water. No real shade. Good shoes a must for rocky terrain and some steep, loose places going up and down. Waking sticks would have been welcome.

hiking
1 month ago

Good workout, but bring water. No real shade. Good shoes a must for rocky terrain and some steep, loose places going up and down. Waking sticks would have been welcome.

Think it was really 3.5 but better than 3. WE got there at 8am on a Saturday and it was pleasantly cool at 71 degrees and parked right at the store. The most noise at that time was coming from the baby cranes in the next on the north side of lake. It was quiet but the first half mile of the shore was completely filled with fisherman. Lots of families with little kids :). First 2 miles was flat, easy and not too entertaining (except for the baby cranes in the trees that we spotted). The last 1.7 miles was more interesting with some rocks, switch backs. Wildlife spotting was somewhat disappointing, the cranes, a few osprey and lotsa stellar jays. The last mile was horrific with noise as inconsiderate hikers descended upon the trail carrying loud music, off leash out of control dogs, etc. The lake looked clean and refreshing and we woulda' loved to have been on the lake in the early am before the crowds got there. When we left at 1130 it was a zoo - people double parking, etc. IT was 77 at 1130. Good little 3.7 mile (exacly on my Garmin) hike with little challenge but enough to get you out of the Valley.

Easy hike, great views, lots of shade

hiking
1 month ago

One of the most beautiful trails I’ve hiked

This trail has very little shade, no river and it was like walking through kitty litter the whole time. It would be great for dirt bikes but that’s it.

walking
1 month ago

Beautiful, easy a great, quick way to get out of the valley of the sun!!

Fun and Beautiful Hike Today❣️Lots of Bald Eagles, people fishing, kayaking...easy trails with some rock hopping. No Fees. Washrooms on site.

This trail sucks dont water your time. The sand is the most annoying part of this hike honestly. Not a hike trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hiking trail today!

We decided to start from Military & took the way that leads away from the rim first... thought it would be better to end on the gorgeous side & it didn’t disappoint! The back road is kind of boring and follows the road so it’s more like a leisurely stroll rather than a hike but once you cross rim road and head towards the rim the magic happens! The views are spectacular! It’s amazing just how far you can see from 7500 ft and it was a crisp 65 degrees. The only downside, & why I only gave it 4 stars, is that there are several spots that aren’t marked and the insane amount of deforestation that is occurring. It’s a shame that such a beautiful area is being cut down.

attempted to hike this one on 6/2/2018. closed due to extreme fire restrictions.

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