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Payson, Arizona

Backpack Horton Springs

9 Miles Total - 1600 ft gain - Loop Trail

Originally added by Sri Gangam

Horton Springs is one of the most spectacular hike in Arizona’s Rim Country. The hike includes a non-stop show of waterfalls, fields of wildflowers, wild berries and forests of maples.

This is a more scenic and bit more strenuous loop hike to the spring, taking in the Derrick Trail, part of the Highline Trail, and the Horton Creek Trail.After parking the cars near Upper Tonto Creek Campground follow the Derrick Trail and hike gently uphill for 1.4 miles through the rim country to the Highline Trail junction. Then follow the Highline Trail and this is a steep climb with lots of ups and downs, where the most of elevation gain. After hiking the Highline Trail for 2 miles a steep descent into the headwaters of Horton Creek. Here the trail turns right and begins a short half-mile climb to Horton Spring.

There are lot of campsites near the spring and once we setup our campsite we started exploring around the springs. After spending beautiful night, the next day we hiked out through the scenic Horton Creek Trail for 3.5 miles back to the trailhead. This trail runs parallel with Horton Creek all the way to the trailhead, passing many beautiful waterfalls along the way. You can go off-trail at some points to see as many of these waterfalls as possible.

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Tags

Chillin
Camping
Swimming
Backpacking
Hiking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Scenic
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Long Hike

The hike wasn't very strenuous, but it ended up taking a lot longer than I'd anticipated. We ran into an Arizona Black Rattlesnake on the trail as well! Next time, I'll probably just do the Horton Springs Trail instead of adding on the Derrick/Highline connection

Beautiful

Beautiful hike butbe ready to face the crowds, especially on weekends. The fresh spring gushes out if the rim face and is remarkable. You can also camp near this area amongst some large boulders.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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