Explore the most popular walking 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.

hiking
8 hours 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.

hiking
21 hours ago

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!

hiking
6 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.

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

on Horton Creek Trail

12 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
14 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
16 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

16 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)

hiking
18 days ago

We have 4 kids- 9, 7, 6, and 2. The bigger kids could do most of it all on their own. A few times we had to hold their hand but they loved it. There are a few cooler spots with small streams to play in. Beautiful scenery. The 2-year-old had to be held most of the time and passed between my wife and me, but we made it.

Great hike. Might be hard for young children.

hiking
21 days ago

Awesome hike with a beautiful "rain forest" in the desert.

hiking
21 days ago

No trail to follow. Stay along the creek until you get to the large boulders. Once your at the area where there are several flat water falls, turn right and follow creek until you get to the area where the large water fall is with the tree branch sticking out.

hiking
23 days ago

I would not call this a hiking trail, more like boulder climbing all the way to the bridge. I hike three times a week and this is not moderate, I would give this a very hard rating. There was no enjoyment for me taking this route to the bridge. This may be enjoyable for some people, just be prepared if you decide to go here. Also, be very careful when you get to the bridge, very slippery and dangerous rocks. If you are going there to see the bridge I would recommend the Gowan trail, short and steep. It is very beautiful there, but I will not be going back.

hiking
23 days ago

Note - this IS NOT closed. Very easy trail, not even moderate. Beautiful with water all along and a great water spot at the end. It is best for a quick simple 4 mile in and 4 mile back out or better yet as the last leg in the 10 mile Derrick - Highline - Horton loop. to read about that, check out the reviews under Derrick Trail.

hiking
23 days ago

I am giving this 4 stars only if you do the whole loop. Going up Derrick by itself is 3 miles of blah. Also, Derrick itself NOT difficult. I would honestly rate it as a moderate to strong Mild. Now, you really need to do the loop. Start at the trailhead, which is across the street from the Derrick TH lot. Do the 3 miles up to the Highline Trail. turn left at the sign (into Highline). Highline is what makes this difficult - it is only 2.5 miles on Highline until you get to Horton, but it is a tough long 2.5. Beautiful canopy and views though. you will drop into the sound of water. This is where you pick up Horton -go over the water and through the gate. Then at the sign, follow Horton left. Horton is a breeze -4 miles down with awesome scenery and water. Once out just follow the road back up to the Derrick parking lot (about 150 yards). This whole hike ends up about 10 miles and is worth the time.

hiking
25 days ago

This is probably a nice hike in the spring, but in mid July it was hot, brown and dry. I enjoyed the 4-mile dirt road with cattle and huge jackrabbits. Approximately 1/3rd of the hike is rocky/gravely. I encountered 2 rattlesnakes on the trail. The “waterfall” at 2.5 miles still offered small pools of water (possibly from the monsoon storm the previous day) and barely a trickle down the rock formation, which is quite scenic. Follow the creek bed upward and off the trail, just around the corner, for some really scenic, shady respite. Back on the trail after this highlight is fairly flat and monotonous. I turned around at 3.9 miles because of the heat and unchanging, flat terrain. Elevation gain was 3670 ft. My hike started at 7:40 am after an easy 90 min drive from Phoenix and took 4 hrs 15 min including a couple short breaks. I drank 3 of the 4 liters I brought. Sunscreen is a must. Wish I had had some bug spray, too. Only saw 2 other hikers. The only thing “difficult” about the hike was the elements (heat, humidity, rattlesnakes). The incline and path is moderate at best. I was surprised that the temp was about 10 degrees hotter than that in Payson.

Beautiful area. There are veins of deep green rock mixed in with the granite in layers. It is a short hike but beautiful. 7/15 is the one year anniversary of the flash flood that took ten lives in one family. There is a family memorial at the edge of the parking lot listing the names and ages of the ten that were lost in the flood. My wife and I walked to the end of the trail to see the water wheel. It is actually by the parking lot. Did some research on the wheel. The web say the wheel was used in the early 1900s by a gold miner named James Greer who used it to power an ore crusher. Nice to see a little history.

hiking
1 month ago

Good short trail, open as of 7/14/18, but the water is very brown and muddy from rain. Not much flowing water yet.

This was a nice and easy hike. It would be nice for children because it’s relatively flat and not a lot of climbing. There weren’t any spectacular views but it was still fun.

Amazing views throughout, but a bit of an anti-climatic view at the end unless you decide to continue on the Mazatzal trail. Saw 2 bobcats, a tarantula, and several hummingbirds. Also note: this trail is not 10.2 miles like it says. We clocked 13 miles round trip. So if you do this, plan for a longer trip. First 3.3 miles were most difficult, but then it levels out. I would rate the first half of the trip as hard but the second half after the waterfall as moderate. The waterfall was dried up when we got there. Gravely at some points where you want to be careful with your footing. We didn’t see anyone else on the trail. I recommend starting early in the day before it gets too hot.

hiking
1 month ago

Good workout, but bring water. No real shade. Good shoes a must for rocky terrain and some steep, loose places going up and down. Waking sticks would have been welcome.

hiking
1 month ago

Good workout, but bring water. No real shade. Good shoes a must for rocky terrain and some steep, loose places going up and down. Waking sticks would have been welcome.

This trail has very little shade, no river and it was like walking through kitty litter the whole time. It would be great for dirt bikes but that’s it.

trail running
1 month ago

This was a fun trail. A little daunting driving past the cattle (including bulls) and human-sized jackrabbits on the 4 mile dirt road on the way in, but fewer animals on the actual trail. We drove a sport sedan, so you don’t need an SUV. The beginning of the trail was a little rocky, but it cleared out and you could get a nice pace. The switchbacks have shade cover if you get an early enough start. We started 8 am. 2L water was sufficient for just over 11 miles. The backside was even nicer for running, but after 5.6 miles out I never saw the intersection with the AZ Trail. I assumed I would since this is marked as an Out and Back, but I may have misunderstood. No water on the waterfalls in Late June.

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