Explore The Rim - 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.

awsome views!!! lots of mud today!!!

hiking
10 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!!

hiking
18 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
27 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.

hiking
27 days ago

I am giving this 4 stars only if you do the whole loop. Going up Derrick by itself is 3 miles of blah. Also, Derrick itself NOT difficult. I would honestly rate it as a moderate to strong Mild. Now, you really need to do the loop. Start at the trailhead, which is across the street from the Derrick TH lot. Do the 3 miles up to the Highline Trail. turn left at the sign (into Highline). Highline is what makes this difficult - it is only 2.5 miles on Highline until you get to Horton, but it is a tough long 2.5. Beautiful canopy and views though. you will drop into the sound of water. This is where you pick up Horton -go over the water and through the gate. Then at the sign, follow Horton left. Horton is a breeze -4 miles down with awesome scenery and water. Once out just follow the road back up to the Derrick parking lot (about 150 yards). This whole hike ends up about 10 miles and is worth the time.

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!

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

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.

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.

I wish I could say I loved it but it ended up being an awful day. We started the trail enthusiastic because it had been a few weeks since our last hike. It started out well with a nice breeze to calm the strong sun. First mistake was taking a right at a fork which ended up being the wrong direction (trail not marked well to direct you). Once we finally made it to the lake I was disappointed in the proximity of the trail to the lake. With only rocky access to the water we continued on the trail, where you can’t really see the water, and we wandered off again due to poor markings. At this point I attempted to use the app which led us through a lot of brush... thankfully without a snake encounter! We finally found our way and trekked the last few miles of sand. In the end the trail ended up being 10.5 miles v the 7.8 which would normally be fine but an extra couple hours of being lost left us thirsty.

Beautiful area!

Excellent trail

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike!!!Turn right out of the parking lot cross the bridge to the dirt road on the left go up the hill and the trail is on the left,right across from the small campground!Great walk dog loved it!!

2 months ago

We loved this hike. trail was tough only because it's up hill, but coming back was a breeze. took the half mile detour to (See Canyon Spring). spring was definitely cool to see with water coming out the side of mountain. the senery was beautiful with lots of shaded areas. it's May 20 weather was great (80 degrees). there's a couple signs along the way with arrows and distance on them. great touch to trail. this was one of our favorites in Payson

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. An easy hike, the weather was beautiful, and the creak was running.

hiking
3 months ago

Pretty OK hike. First half is more ‘difficult’ than ‘moderate’. I mean, it is 4.2 miles uphill, in parts with a lot of loose shale and dirt, and large rocks, etc. As others have posted, it is NOT 6.1 miles like the description says. By my watch, it was exactly 4.2 miles from parkins lot up to Rim Road 300, so 8.4 round trip. This matches the FS Trailhead sign you can see in my photos, which says Rim Road 300 4 miles. It is not a very scenic hike, lots of blowdown debris, definitely a flash flood area. But, it is very peaceful, quiet, except for the wind, just some lizards and squirrels, and lots of birds chirping. Took me 4 hours, only saw one person, in the last 100 yards, who was just going in to the water to fish.

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