Horton Creek Trail is a 8.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Payson, Arizona that features a waterfall 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: 8.5 miles Elevation Gain: 2,431 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

This trail follows treads along Horton Creek past waterfalls and winds through magnificent stands of pine. Great area to combine other trails to form a loop hike.

hiking
bugs
rocky
6 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

Very easy to get to. No mystery there. The trail is on the opposite side of the small parking area. You can take the trail up away from the creek or get down closer for more of a trudge but with a view of the creek. Many beautiful spots to stop and picnic along the way which is nice for keeping away from others. Good hike for dogs.

hiking
11 days ago

There’s a small parking (15 cars maybe) lot otherwise find parking along the roadside. Trail head is up towards the campground (across the street over the bridge from the parking). A little bit of a dry start but the more you get it the more beauty you see. Tons of opportunities to take pictures Creekside. Moderate elevation gain on a wide trail. We didn’t do the full 8. Advice: take your time and enjoy the creek

hiking
11 days ago

we arrived at 8AM and the parking lot was full. we found a roadside spot easily (on our way out it was packed). The trail was beautiful, there is a main trail, but there are also trails right on the creek for a a large part of the trip. you will easily miss out on some beautiful photo opportunities if you stay on the main trail.

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful trail along the creek the whole way. Mostly shaded. Very well kept. I didn’t hike the last bit after the small waterfall as that takes you to the Rim Road #300 without a Rim view.

hiking
12 days ago

This is a beautiful trail. There are many spots to sit by the creek or swim in some of the pools. Beautiful flowers and wildlife as well. The trail is well marked - as others have mentioned, it’s 8 miles round trip to the springs (more like 12 to the rim). One thing not many mentioned before which is fairly important to know - poison ivy (and possibly oak) everywhere! Wear long pants if you plan to trek towards the water.

backpacking
12 days ago

We just did this as an overnight backpacking trip and took it all the way to the rim this past weekend. Agreed with others - parking can get busy if you are there on the weekend. Beautiful hike up to the springs, and once you get mile-ish in there is plenty of water from the spring. Lots of beautiful camping spots along spring but it looks like camping is restricted in the area of the springs until August. Still, lovely day hiking spot and you'll find many others on the trail during the weekend. IF you want to hike up to the rim, you definitely get a good workout in. We found this 8.5 round trip to be a bit off. I'd say its roughly 3.5 miles to the Springs (the trail sign said 4 miles), and then another ~1.5 miiles to the top of the rim (trail sign said another 2 miles). Roughly 900ft elevation gain to get to the springs, and then another ~1500 feet over the last mile and a half. Beautiful views up top, and plenty of dispersed camping if you take a right at the top. Water is limited up top, so if you're filtering, fill up at the Springs at the bottom before you head up. In my opinion, prepare to hike the rim and you'll be rewarded with beautiful views!

hiking
12 days ago

Pretty trail and was enjoyable and nice to be along the creek for most of the way. Can be a little confusing a couple times as to which way to go, but still worth it. Parking gets packed.

hiking
16 days ago

We couldn’t find the trail. I would love if someone who has done the actual trail to share it with me. The creek was nice though. My instagram username is ruth.jay8

hiking
off trail
17 days ago

I’d recommend this to anyone looking to get some self-care. Light walking, a lot of walking in rocks and being in or around the creek!

backpacking
18 days ago

Got there Friday night and slept in the van. Hiked in Saturday morning with my 10 year old and dog and set up camp along the creek. Explored all day and played in the creek. Amazing how the water just comes right out of the rock. lots of people, but long wide well maintained trail with plenty of room. Beautiful country with lots of trees and wildlife. Saw a black rattlesnake about 20 feet off trail. Hiked out Sunday morning about 9. Parking lot was full and several cars parked along the road. Definitely one of my favorites so far.

hiking
19 days ago

Make sure you get there early. Gets way over crowded. Beautiful hike pretty gradual all the way up with plenty of shade. Many different little falls all the way up to the spring.

hiking
19 days ago

Very popular trail! Get there early to find parking. Got there at 9 am and parking was full! Definitely hard to find if you don’t know where you are going! If you park along road the trail is to the right of bridge. If you cross over bridge and park in picnic area you have to walk across bridge and go to the left. Wish it was better marked! Spent 1.5 miles walking around trying to find it! Otherwise definitely a nice hike! Moderate to hard the last stretch if you want to get to Springs!

hiking
19 days ago

Got there around 10 AM, parking lot was full so we parked on the side of the road along with many others. The Alltrails map is misleading, as the 8 mile trip is from the trailhead to the springs. To get to the the top (rim) to 300, would be another 4 miles to and from, so total of 12 miles -- This portion, I believe, is the Horton Springs Trail 292 - a lot more challenging. Loved being able to take several detours along the route to soak in the beauty of the creek. I was hoping to see more water at the spring, though...

24 days ago

Nice hike and the trail was certainly easy. Lots of families....good hike for kids.

hiking
24 days ago

From the trail head to Horton Springs, it is probably one of the best trails in Arizona. The climb from the springs up to the Rim Road is very difficult. That part of the trail is seldom used and poorly marked. The trip back down is tricky with loose rocks and steep areas. But overall, a wonderful trail!

hiking
25 days ago

This was a great hike, we hit the trail just before 8 and there was plenty of parking still available. The 8 mile trip is from the start to the spring and back. If you complete the whole trail past that I think it’s more like a 12 miles and it gets to be pretty steep from there. Also all the restrooms in the campground area are closed.

hiking
rocky
25 days ago

Awesome place to hike and explore. Beautiful scenery and a nice little place to dip your feet in the water for a chill feel. A little crowded when I was there but it still worked quite well.

Mothers Day hike

hiking
26 days ago

Awesome Trail.

hiking
26 days ago

Beautiful trail with challenging slope towards the end. Going to the top of the rim is a must, as the views are breathtaking!

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful trail following a stream with a bunch of mini waterfalls. Leading to spring running from under a rock. Worth every bit of the incline.

hiking
28 days ago

Did this hike on 5/9 and it was awesome! We got there around 10:30 and parking was pretty difficult so be mindful of that. It did start off relatively hot, temp being 80-85. But after about the first mile it got much nicer, due to both more trees and cloud coverage. The first 3 miles of the trail are really mellow, not too much climbing but the last mile you have some decent elevation change. We had lunch at the 4 mile “waterfall” portion which was nice. But in my opinion the little pull off areas next to the creek on the way up would be better for hanging out.

28 days ago

this was a fun hike! some climbing involved but the creeks are beautiful!

hiking
28 days ago

Fun trail, Spring at the end is super cool last 2 miles or so I felt the elevation and I hike/climb a lot. Lovely river areas to chill on way up.

1 month ago

This is probably one of my favorite hikes. It's shaded the majority of the way & has a creek that runs along the trail that is absolutely beautiful. It gets very busy, so I like to go early in the morning on a week day.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful out and back creek side trail. Wooded with lots of shade cover. Little waterfalls along the creek, great for wading. Moderately trafficked - more people than I expected for a weekday morning - but easy to peel off and snag a secluded spot for creek fun, lunch break, etc. Great for dogs. Parking in the main lot may be full, but there are lots of places to park roadside too. I wish I had brought my hammock (left it in the car) because there are so many great spots along the creek to relax. Next time!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail, easy and scenic. Do not let the sign in the parking lot fool you...it looks like the tail head is near the restroom but if you walk that way you will find a very short trail about a 1/2 mile in length. To get to this trail you must cross the bridge and head into the campground. Initially you see a dry river bed but head in for maybe ten min or so and you will find the creek. Like many trails in the area, it’s not clearly marked and we found some branches of it but didn’t know which trail those were as there are three different trails accessible from the trail head. Can’t be certain we were in the “right” trail the whole time. Now that I’m a little more familiar with the area, I will come back and attempt to make it to the waterfall. Bathrooms are all closed rn so bring some tp and a zip lock bag to put it in so you can take it out. Saw a couple places near the trail where people appear to have “gone” and left their tp, gross.

hiking
1 month ago

Is this trail closed? I been here numerous times the COViD19 guidelines seem unfair.

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