Horton Creek Trail

MODERATE 343 reviews
#2 of 115 trails in

Horton Creek Trail is a 6.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Payson, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1145 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

Directions from Payson: Travel east on Hwy. 260 to Forest Road 289. The trail starts in the Upper Tonto Creek Campground. The trailhead is not easy to find from the parking lot if you don't know where to look-- it's actually on the opposite side of the dirt road and up the hill a ways past the campground.

nature trips
3 days ago

An easy and beautiful hike with Creek access!

4 days ago

Nice hike, pretty easy for me. Camped overnight, beautiful and quiet.

hiking
4 days ago

Incredible hike with shade from the pines and sounds from the creek. Didn't want to leave.

hiking
5 days ago

This was such an amazing day! We went with a group who had kiddos so they left us around mile 2 but we ventured on. AllTrails says it’s 6.7 miles but we clocked in 8 miles with a gain of 1,245 feet & so worth it. Although there were a ton of cars in the lot the trail was pretty quiet with just the sound of the water flowing down the creek in the background. There were at least half a dozen little waterfalls along the way & we did stop a couple times for a snack and just for a moment of relaxation; with a nice, crisp breeze to keep you cool. We’d definitely do this one again!

11 days ago

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

12 days ago

So amazing and beautiful! Would definitely hike again!

hiking
16 days ago

Great hike! Took the kids and they had a blast playing in the water. Hike is easy as it slowly increases in elevation. Lots of places to stop along the creek and have lunch, wade in the water. Highly recommend this hike.

18 days ago

Horton creek is dry right now. Was hoping for more water. Park in the lot and then walk up the dirt road (by Tonto Creek) and the trail is 50 feet up the dirt road on the left side. You will see the trail head sign on the dirt road.

21 days ago

Beautiful! definitely be doing this hike again!

backpacking
1 month ago

Amazing place and a pretty good hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Really fun trail! We made it almost too the end but we’re getting cold and tired and decided to take a break for lunch and then head back to warm up. Beautiful views! Totally recommend!

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous!

backpacking
2 months ago

This was an awesome hike! We extended it out Friday-Saturday!
The trail is easy to find and pretty fun to hike!

The creek was flowing well and was super gorgeous!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful scenery- we had the perfect weather! Also stopped and put the ENO up by the Creek. ❤️

hiking
2 months ago

By far one of my favorite trails especially scenery wise. I have always been one to follow the water. Love it :) Of course this time of year dress warm and be aware that there is snow and ice on the trail. When you pick out shoes!

backpacking
3 months ago

Just did this Trail this last Friday-Sunday. We started late Friday evening and camped about 20 minutes in then completed the hike the following day. It took probably 2-3 hours with a lot of detours and checking out the creek! Such a beautiful hike and the water flow was fantastic. We were able to filter water whenever we wanted as water was so accessible and camped the second night behind the springs. Obviously this is a day hike but was fun to extend it and take our time!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful out and back day!

hiking
3 months ago

Such an awesome trail! Perfect spots for some creek side hammocking along the way!

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Loved this trail. Beautiful scenery!

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike with amazing views of running water. I kept hiking past the springs at the end. There were plenty of opportunities to go off the trail. Which I would recommend

Gorgeous trail along the creek. We really enjoyed seeing all the different colors of trees as they turn before winter. Really beautiful hike overall.

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked this with the wife for our anniversary. It was a gorgeous day. The Garmin put the hike at a bit under 7.5 miles from parking lot to the Horton Spring. Plan on about 3.5 hours; wife is in decent shape but definitely was feeling the elevation gain on way up.
We both agreed this is a moderate hike; we would be able to take our 10 year old on this trail. Awesome to see a moving creek in AZ, we Phoenicians don’t get to see this often. Will definitely do it again.

hiking
4 months ago

Stumbled upon this trail so had no expectations. The springs at the end were beautiful!

5 months ago

Perfect

5 months ago

Beautiful fall color foliage. Nice crisp air. Did 8 miles round trip. Trail is not marked well. Couldn't figure out where it ends but we went till Horton springs . This is the best Season to do this trail.

5 months ago

Family friendly

walking
5 months ago

This trail was amazing the river was beautiful

hiking
5 months ago

Works your butt up, legs are like jello coming down. But man was it sure worth it! Especially getting to see where the springs comes out of the side of the cliff! It was a wonderful spectacle to see! It makes you wonder even more about how this planet really functions. It was incredible! And if it weren't for my two very fit friends that came with me that day, one walking slowly with each up hill step I took, and the other ahead giving words of encouragement, and my dog Raylan pulling me along, I NEVER WOULD HAVE MADE IT! You two women rock!!

hiking
5 months ago

This hike offers a variety of features that any hiker new or experienced will enjoy. Kid and dog friendly, the whole trail out and back is just under 7 miles making sure that you get your exercise for the day and contribute to the decline in health care costs. It’s serene and lovely at this time of year with the leaves just beginning to change. The main trail stays on the left side of the creek, but there is the option to walk either along side the creek or on the other side entirely. Due keep in mind that walking along side the creek will take you longer to reach the springs end. It took me four and a half hours to complete this trail. Walking alongside and on the main trail. Happy hiking!

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