Where are we going?
We're headed to Horton Creek and Spring, but not via the most traditional route. We'll take the "Horton Loop" which is quite a bit different than the main Horton Creek Trail, offering some great views, less traffic and we'll still end up at the spring. We'll hit the trail Saturday morning, camp at the spring, then hike out on Sunday. The camping area is situated among ponderosa, oak and maple trees.
This trip is open to new backpackers, old pros and everyone in between. Let's all get out of the city and have a fun weekend!
Special info or Prerequisites:
This is a fairly beginner-backpacking-friendly trip, but it is not for the beginner HIKER. The trail climbs fairly quickly over rocky terrain, so please know your limits. We'll take breaks along the way to enjoy the scenery and catch our breath.
We will be hiking the Derrick Trail, which begins at the same parking area as the Horton Creek Trail, but heads in another direction and is described as a "more feisty" trail. It then intersects a particularly beautiful section of the Highline Trail, and we'll end up at Horton Spring for the night. Sunday we'll hike down Horton Creek trail which meanders along next to the creek. You can see a writeup of the trail we will follow here: http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=879
Directions to the Trail Head:
For those coming from Phoenix, we can meet and carpool from the Fort McDowell Casino parking lot at 7:00AM. We'll leave at about 7:15AM For those who wish to meet at the trailhead, we should arrive there between 8:30 and 8:45am. I'd aim to be on the trail ASAP.
To the trailhead:
From Payson take 260 East for 16 miles to FR289 which is Tonto Creek Road. Turn left on to FR289 and follow a mile to the Upper Tonto Creek campgrounds. Hiker parking is before the campgrounds (left) across a bridge in a small lot.
Horton Creek Trailhead cross back over the bridge and follow the dirt road up towards the campgrounds for about 150 feet. The trailhead should now be apparent on the left.
Derrick Trailhead follow to Horton Trailhead, then continue on the dirt road another minute or two to the end.
Expected Trail Conditions and Gear Requirements:
The trails in the area were recently maintained and rerouted by maintenance crews. The trail in is quite rocky. Sturdy hiking boots are recommended. Highs this time of year average around 79 degrees, and lows around 50. I'll update the official forecast in the comments as the weekend approaches.
Costs/Fees if Applicable:
Participants should be paid members of ABC. If you are not a paid member, I would encourage you to make your membership payment through meetup.
Post you questions below, or contact Nick via Meetup email.