Explore the most popular waterfall 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
14 hours ago

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

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
5 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
8 days ago

Very Short, very heavily tracked, but absolutely beautiful!

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

on Horton Creek Trail

10 days ago

great place to be naked!!

hiking
13 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
14 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

15 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
20 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
22 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
24 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
30 days 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.

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.

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.

Payson trails closed due to drought...

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hiking trail today!

Closed today

attempted to hike this one on 6/2/2018. closed due to extreme fire restrictions.

Do you pay when you get there or do have to purchase a permit online? And 9 dollars per person or vehicle?

Great hike! Most of the trail is easy and easy to find, just follow the stream up. Took my dog and he did great as well! Several options for rock scrambling for more seasoned hiking and stunning views. Hopped in the water..... COLD as expected for May 1st! Will definitely make a return trip! P.S. Day fee of $9.00, bring cash, the PAY box is NOT well marked.

Forest area closed at Houston Mesa Rd.

hiking
2 months ago

Must do! Follow their advice: lots of water, snacks make it a pleasant afternoon. Hiking shoes and poles are great!

hiking
2 months ago

Tried to go 6/4/18 - Closed as are nearly all trails along 260 due to extreme fire hazard.

Drought. No falls or water

I just got turned around, it’s closed. Most everything North of payson is closed. South of Payson is open.

Will update rating when I get the chance to go.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail is not within the closure area according to www.FS.USDA.gov. Has anyone been there since the closures went in to effect on the 23rd. Thanks

hiking
2 months ago

Trail is closed until further notice (most likely until it rains).

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