Derrick Trail is a 5.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Payson, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 5.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,125 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

views

wild flowers

no dogs

Directions from Payson: Travel north on Hwy. 260, then turn north on Forest Road 289. The trail starts just past the cattleguard on the east side of the road. The trail may be used with Trail 33 and a trail along Forest Road 289 to form a loop.

hiking
no shade
rocky
28 days ago

This was a fun hike with very little traffic; but there are a few things to keep in mind. The trail is very rocky, which can be challenging on the way back, there is very little shade as you progress, and it’s a bit longer than listed. The views are beautiful, but you really only get to see them towards the end. The earlier start the better!

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice trail, only saw 3 other people the whole time on this April Thursday. Took us 5 hours with plenty of stops. I found it moderately challenging in parts, but it is pretty gradual uphill most of the way, and some fairly boldery parts. I'm just still pretty out of shape but getting much better on these trails! There was really nice and softer ground for part of the hike too, mostly the mile closest to the trailhead. Mostly easy to keep on the trail, as its a pretty wild area and its the only trail in that area. There's a lot of shady areas, but overlogging has led to less than there should be. Whoever mapped this trail appears to have gotten turned around and off trail a couple times. Be aware of the fact that the trailhead is across the little road from the parking area with the sign that says "Derrick Trailhead". That side has some trail too that goes along the creek. Look for the little sign with a picture of hikers across the road.

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

Prefer nearby Horton’s. Very little shade.

hiking
9 months ago

My favorite all season hike

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

We were planning to hike Horton Creek Trail and by mistake parked at Derrick TH parking and hiked this trail. It was good. Rocky and not too difficult up and down. Enjoyed it. Ended up with 10 miles loop

11 months ago

not sure why this is rated hard; it has very little elevation gain, although the majority of the trail has lots of small rocks to negotiate. Its dry with little shade, bring plenty of water

11 months ago

Easier then expected. Rocky in some parts but not too bad. hiked this trail as part of the Highline, Horton creek loop.

hiking
Sat Apr 27 2019

Did an anti-clockwise loop from Derrick to Highline to Horton Creek. Derrick is a decent uphill free of roots with a Flagstaff feel (pines with some agave mixed in). Highline is probably 3 miles of switchbacks ascending and descending without end. It's not easy. The reward is the Horton Creek spring and some nice sitting areas to eat. Horton Creek's trail is downhill and easyish if you haven't already done everything else.

hiking
Mon Jul 23 2018

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
Fri May 04 2018

Apparently I missed the part about no dogs? As usual, took my dog. Seemed fine. Not a remarkable trail, but the views at the top where it intersects Highline are super. Have to go off trail a bit to see them.

Tue Oct 24 2017

Did the loop including Highline and Horton which makes this a 4 star. If you just do Derrick then it's a moderate hike up and back. 2 or 3 star. You are walking on a lot of creek bed rocks.

hiking
Fri Sep 01 2017

Did the Derrick/Highline/Horton loop in August....nice doing a loop and not just out and back. Also did some geocaching. No other hikers on Derrick or Highline portion of loop, and only a few on Horton since a weekday. Nice views and will do it again.

hiking
Fri Jul 21 2017

Gave this 5 stars since I did the full loop in May: Derrick to Highline then down Horton. If you only do Derrick it would be a 3 -ish star. Derrick alone is a decent hike, not much shade for the first uphill stretch, and scenery doesn't vary much until you actually hit the intersection with Highline- but definitely lovely views here and there and is a welcome quiet alternative to Horton (In the two times I have done this I've seen a total of 3 other humans). If you have the time to spare and can do a 9.5 miler then I highly recommend the full loop. Keep in mind it gets to almost 7000 feet along the Highline but having Horton as your home stretch is lovely. If you aren't able for a 9-10 mile and still want some change of scenery, you can do Derrick to Highline and continue on the Highline for a bit and just make it an out and back.

hiking
Wed Jul 05 2017

Hiked Derrick to Highline trail, then west on Highline to Horton Creek trail, then down Horton to complete a nice loop. Warm time of year with some shade on Derrick, more shade on Highline and Horton. Didn't see anyone until we got to the Horton springs, then many folks on the way down Horton. Posted signs say 3 mi to Highline, 2.5 mi to Horton, and 4 mi to Horton trail-head. The Highline portion felt more like 3, so roughly a 10 mi loop. Only wildlife seen were some very energetic squirrels, along with some nice views and of course Horton springs. I would give Derrick by itself 3 stars, but the loop makes it 4. I would also rate it moderate, not hard.

Mon Apr 17 2017

Pretty views about an hour into the hike. Very secluded. We went on a Saturday afternoon and only saw one other group. Great rim views.

hiking
Sat Oct 15 2016

trail was easy to follow. distance as described was close to accurate. I had it at 6.5 miles there and back. the profile is accurate with a constant slope all the way up. about 3/4 the way up there were some great views! the trail head allot of cobble or loose rock. going down was comfortable, but not on the ankles from the rocks. high top boots are a must.

Thu Oct 06 2016

Took Derrick trail to Highline trail, then down to Horton trail. Nice 10 mile loop, great scenery and not heavily traveled.

Wed Oct 05 2016

Cool hike.

hiking
Sat Aug 27 2016

A nice trail with some lovely views! I would definitely not rate this difficult as it is pretty mild throughout the entire trail. I went on an overcast Saturday and only saw one group of people exiting on my way in. Would recommend if you are looking for something quiet and more secluded.

hiking
Sat Aug 13 2016

Started on Horton creek to Derrick and looped back. About 11 miles total.

Thu Mar 17 2016

Great trail with amazing views and scenery! However, not following a creek!

hiking
Fri Mar 11 2016

Neat trail but definitely more easy than moderate

Thu Jul 09 2015

Amazing views of the rim!

hiking
Sun Jul 05 2015

Great trail with beautiful views of the rim.

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

recorded Recording - May 16, 01:28 PM

hiking
13 days ago

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