Horton Creek Trail

MODERATE 259 reviews
#2 of 98 trails in

Horton Creek Trail is a 6.8 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
6.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1233 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

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.

hiking
18 hours ago

hiking
23 hours ago

hiking
2 days 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!

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

A great trail that's not overly crowded. Very scenic. My girlfriend and I stopped several times on the way to Horton Spring to snap some photos along the creek. There are several camping spots along the trail -- none were being used. The last half-mile is really the only stretch to worry about if someone in your group is slower on their feet. The springs are beautiful! We had lunch nearby. Hike out was a breeze.

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

Your own personal paradise. Not overly crowded the several times I've made it out there. Scenic and easy to take camera gear to capture photos of the creek and springs. Last time I went the trail was washed away in the beginning and had to get our feet wet to pass, which was a hassle but still as pretty as ever. Fall is the best time in my opinion to go, the leaves fall from trees which is a sight to watch while you walk. Also the color changes in the leaves are a perfect for photos.

hiking
10 days ago

Took my not-so-new-but-still-kind-of little hikers, 6.5 & 3.5 yo. 10-5-17: The leaves are still mostly green, but there's a lot of color and fun to look at now. Will prob be better in a few days/a week.

The trail itself is an easy one, mostly flat with a couple slight inclines and declines here and there. Mostly shady, but there are some completely open spots. Lots to look at and you can actually walk alongside the creek if you want to too, which my kids loved.

Trail isn't marked very well and we zig-zagged a lot, but kids had fun. Didn't make it to the end bc we got a late start and didn't want to hike in the dark with kids. Will deff come back!

10 days ago

Wonderful, beautiful, peaceful trail running along the creek with plenty of neat and secluded places to stop and take in the scenery

Super easy and flat biking for most of the trail. Found a spot where there was a little water fall and sat and ate lunch. Quiet and serine didn’t see anyone else on a Sunday morning. Never saw the end but still had a fun time with the family.

hiking
12 days ago

14 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

Great trail. Steady incline - but not overwhelmingly steep. Well trafficked by folks of all ages on a Saturday afternoon.

hiking
26 days ago

One of our favorite hikes to date. A very nice trail which runs along Horton Creek, which is never far from view. The climb is gradual and the trail condition is mostly hardpacked earth with the exception of where some washes cross the trail. We went on a Sunday and caught some returning traffic from those who had hiked in and camped along the creek the night before. Plenty of day hikers, dogs, and wildlife (a white-tailed doe crossed the trail less than 25 meters from us).

For you dog owners, the rocks in the wash sections are mostly rounded or avoidable, no steep climbs or jagged rocks to tear up soft paws.

Plenty of views of the creek as it changes elevation and although we did not camp, various camping areas appear to be able to accommodate at least 10-12 campers.

28 days ago

1 month ago

Amazing trail! We ended up doing a 9.6 mile hike. Beautiful views. So peaceful. We went on a Thursday and saw maybe 10 people over the span of several hours. Great place, planning to go back and camp sometime.