Explore the most popular trails near Payson with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Awesome hike. Hard to tell if you are going the right way, but if you follow the river upstream then you will get to the end. I was disappointed that the water was brown the whole way through because I was wearing my swim shorts and hoping for a swim in a pool. I'd still recommend this hike though! It was beautiful and a lot of fun.

hiking
1 day ago

This was a beautiful hike but not as easy as most reviews led me to believe. It was not an overly challenging hike, but it was not flat and wide after mile two. It was a steady uphill with very narrow areas and the trail is pretty rocky. My children all made it up and back fine, but their tired legs caused them to stumble quite a bit on the way down as the trail is very rocky. The falls were nice and the creek was nice too. Would go back for an easy backpacking trip.

hiking
1 day ago

My husband and I went yesterday (aug 19th) and loved it! Even the drive in with the cattle is fun. I'd say it starts out easy for about a mile then gets to a moderate/hard level. We turned back after a really great look out point at a little over 2.5 miles because we only had half our water left. We'll definitely go back when we're more prepared! It was rocky and sandy, the views were great, the terrain change was really interesting and the switchbacks provided some much needed shade. (It was 95 degrees out even though it was only 80ish in Payson) We even saw a doe across the valley which was awesome. We only saw two other people in the three hours we were on the trail, which was actually pretty nice! I highly recommend this trail!

Okay, so the reviews on here are where people are claiming the trail is easy and follows the spring do NOT correlate with the trail GPS map on AllTrails. All these nimrods are saying “oh I stopped at the spring” okay well that’s not what this trail goes to on AllTrails. The spring is easy to get to. But that’s not where the GPS ends. It takes you ALL the way up the rim, I’m talking steep inclines, no marked trail, climbing over 1,000 feet in under a mile. I wouldn’t let a kid under 13 do that part of the hike. It goes all the way up to rim road. And that’s where it ends. An anticlimactic, ugly road. Would I ever go past the springs again? Hell no- but the reviews are VERY misleading. Also kind of annoying people rating the “trail” as easy when they didn’t even complete it. That would be like taking the helicopter in and out of Havasupai and then calling the hike easy. Yeah, it’s easy if you only go a third of the way.

So, yeah the creek is pretty, but don’t follow the AllTrails guidance and if you do, don’t go past the spring unless you’re ready for a Flatiron-Esque climb. And ignore all these numnuts saying it’s easy- I hike every weekend, have hiked Humphrey’s, Flatiron, Havasupai, Grand Canyon Rim and I’m telling you the AllTrails GPS marked hike takes you up the damn rim. This is misleading and mis-rated. I’m all for a rough and tough hike but the misleading ranking of difficulty and reviews is annoying and borderline negligent.

hiking
2 days ago

Although this hike says moderate it is fairly easy. Fun for the whole family! We had our lunch inside the cave (pick up your trash) which was amazing. Beware the rocks are slippery!

Park ranger in the gift shop is RUDE! do not let him discourage you from this great hike.

good luck.

Although this hike is easy, take plenty of water. Beware rocks are slippery. So beautiful and calm.

Park ranger in the gift shop is rude but dont let him discourage you.

Started 6.30am in August from 87.

Cool start but heated up more than I thought.

Great hike! Only went 8M up as got hot and ran out of water.

Saw Deer and plenty of different birds. Some technical area's but overall, a very nice hike.

Recommend not doing in summer.

My kids loved it. Out for a picnic and hike turned out perfect. Water is cold but worth it after the heat.

hiking
4 days ago

This trail is seriously steep and potentially hot but rewards immediately with great views. Much of the trail surface is rocky and lose, so care must be taken when going down the trail. Most of the trail has great 4G reception because of the direction the mountain faces.

We went 5 miles up this trail in July with temperatures well over 100 degrees and almost no shade anywhere. This is not a good time of the year to hike this trail, and could be life-threatening. I drank over 4 liters of water in the 10 mile hike. Regardless, after going enough distance, the views were good and it was quite a work-out.

8.17.18 Payson trails are now open. Did this trail, I dont think I did the same route as other people because I didnt see very much running water, mostly stagnate. I might try it again after a few more days of rain.

Absolutely beautiful trail. So much green, so close to Phoenix, and about 20° cooler. The creek is gorgeous and refreshing. The trail runs right next to the creek most of the way. The trail is very easy, very wide, and mostly flat except for a few uphills as you get further in. The waterfall is small but pretty and a good place to relax. Past the waterfall is a more challenging trail that climbs right up the mountain to Promontory Butte, which offers an amazing scenic lookout. I've been to Horton Creek 3 times and enjoyed each time.

is alreary open ??or is still close..because i want to go next weekend

hiking
6 days ago

Great hike, not sure why this is rated as moderate. Once you get to the waterfall the real hike begins in one mile you will climb 1400+ feet up the face of the rim. The trail is pretty much non existent I had to follow stacks of rocks and build my own in some spots, as my phone had died and I was on my own. All trails, say this is a 4 mile 1900 ft elevation gain when I got to waterfall i was like there is now way I hiked 1900 ft. I pulled up all trails and seen I still had 1 mile to go. I did not want to miss out on anything and pressed on. Take lots of water and food as that last mile is ruff. If all you want to do is hike to the waterfall then I would say this hike is easy.

Hiked this trail with our dog and she thoroughly enjoyed it! However, me being from Colorado, when I read that there was a river, I was expecting an actual river. It's more of a little tiny stream that springs up in the middle of the trail and then follows the trail for a couple hundred yards. Also, if you're like me, your ankles will be sore by the end from almost constantly walking on the edge of the ditch/trail. Overall, still a fun trail that took us about an hour and a half to complete.

Lots of ATV use and little side cuts from them.

My family loved it! It was my 4 year old daughters first time really having to climb so I'm glad we went.

The only reason I am giving 2 stars instead of 1 star is that it is a somewhat challenging hike. You are pretty much uphill from the beginning of “trail” to the top. Other than that, it was not someplace I would ever go back to. I wasn’t aware that I would have to deal with motorcycles every 20 minutes or so and the “trail” intersects FR 626 which people drive their cars on. So yes in addition to endless motorcycles, you also get to deal with cars and trucks driving by you. I don’t recommend this trail to anyone looking for any type of solitude or experience with nature. In my opinion I don’t think this should be listed as a hiking trail at all. It isn’t a hiking trail.

So this hike I’ve been on several times growing up and definitely a hike to go on in the late winter or spring to see the waterfalls. Which in the past have seen up to three climaxing with the third in the canyon. I enjoy the difficulty especially because it keeps it relatively quiet of lazy hikers and people who leave trash behind. They seem to avoid harder trails which is great for the rest of us. Beautiful views and water keeps me coming back every year!

backpacking
13 days ago

Fun hike. Bring an insane amount of water. Keep eyes peeled for old steps made a century or two ago.

hiking
13 days ago

Perfect for someone from the Phoenix area because you'll get your fix of wildflowers and a woodland paradise, including waterfalls. It's a charming hike, and good for summer because it's shaded and has the cool water of the creek nearby.

hiking
16 days ago

Very Short, very heavily tracked, but absolutely beautiful!

Beautiful views. Some up and down, but not extremely strenuous. I only made it about a quarter of the loop- the sun was too hot to do the whole loop.

Loved it, next time I’m starting earlier than 9 am though!

on Horton Creek Trail

18 days ago

great place to be naked!!

Great hike for beginners and those not wanting to be physically challenged too much. Great scenery and amazing boulders to be see. Bring lots of water!

hiking
21 days ago

Was an amazingly beautiful hike! Lots of small waterfalls along the creek! Also lots of bugs and mosquitos! Take some repellent with you. Weather was amazing!

hiking
22 days ago

Hiked 7/29/18 with a friend and two dogs. Forgot how beautiful and lovely this trail is. Not too difficult, lots of water spots to stop at. Water is low right now but still worth it. Started early am Sunday, saw a couple people hiking out, and tons of people coming back, was getting pretty busy. Drive all the way until you cross the small bridge, park immediately in the lot to your left, cross back over the bridge on foot and up the little dirt road hill to start the trail.

on Box Canyon Trail

23 days ago

Reading the reviews really helped! Short and sweet!

Such a great trail! Easy little hike/trail, constant river close to trail at all times. Great for dogs and kids too!! There is a bathroom next to the parking spots as well. Lots of little spots to just hang out by the river the whole way up. Make sure to bring water and keep in mind the temperature of the ground if you have a dog (even at 85 degrees the dirt and sand gets up to 100-105 degrees, which is waaay too hot for any pup)

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