Horton Creek Trail
A beautiful hike leading to a gushing spring from the side of the Mogollan Rim
- 14 km
- 753 m
- 753 m
- 4-5 hrs
- Low Point
- 1.7 km
- High Point
- 2.4 km
Starting from the Upper Tonto Creek Campground, the trail heads north along the creek, which is a constant companion throughout the hike. With a gentle uphill grade for most of the way, the trail is well-marked and easy to follow. You will enjoy listening to the creek as it flows over rocks and cascades down small waterfalls.
About 4 miles from the trailhead, you will reach Horton Spring, where water gushes out of the side of the Mogollon Rim, creating Horton Creek. This is a great place to rest and refill your water bottles. You can also explore the area around the spring, where some old cabins and a historic irrigation ditch can be found.
The hike can be done year-round, but it is especially beautiful in the fall when the leaves change color. It is also a great hike for camping and backpacking, as there are several campsites along the trail and near the spring.
The Horton Creek Trail offers a cool escape from the heat and a chance to experience Arizona's natural beauty and history.
Sources: Payson, AZ's Horton Creek Hiking Trail is fresh spring bliss. https://www.azutopia.com/easy-hikes/horton-creek-trail/. Horton Creek Trail #285, AZ | HikeArizona. https://www.hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=62. Tips for Hiking Horton Creek Trail in Arizona | Simply Wander. https://justsimplywander.com/horton-creek-trail/. Horton Creek Trail. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/tonto/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=35613&actid=50. Conversation with Bing Chat
Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.
Best time to visit
- Water features