Horton Creek Trail

MODERATE 319 reviews
#2 of 110 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
1115 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.

backpacking
9 days 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
16 days ago

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

hiking
22 days 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
1 month 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
1 month ago

Beautiful out and back day!

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this trail. Beautiful scenery!

hiking
2 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
3 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
3 months ago

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

3 months ago

Perfect

3 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.

3 months ago

Family friendly

walking
3 months ago

This trail was amazing the river was beautiful

hiking
3 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
4 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!

hiking
4 months 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
4 months 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.

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