Horton Creek Hike (East of Payson)

Description: Please join us for a day’s break from the summer heat as we hike alongside Horton Creek outside of Payson. We’ll follow the shady Horton Creek Trail (#285) until it reaches a signed junction with the Highline Trail (#31), about four miles from the trailhead. We’ll turn right at the junction and look for a spot near the creek to enjoy a picnic lunch and swim, or at least dip our toes in the water. It’s a pretty amazing site to see a natural springs gushing water right out of the side of a mountain. We’ll then turn around and hike back to the trailhead. On the drive back we plan to stop somewhere cool to eat and have a beer (and I’ll let you know where that is once someone cool tells me where that is).
Difficulty: Moderate, Total Distance: 7.5 miles
Start Elevation: 5460 ft. Elevation Gain: 1200 ft.
Drive Time: 2 hours, Water to Bring: 3 liters
Meeting Time/Place: 7:00am - at Pyle Adult Recreation Center, 9:00am - From Payson drive East on SR 260 for 16 miles. Just past Kohl's Ranch, turn left onto the road to the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery – Zane Gray Hwy, NF289. One mile up this road park in the trailhead parking on the west side. The trail begins across the road in the campground.
Estimated Return Time: 7:00pm
Leader: Delisse
Minimum Attendees Required: 4
RSVP By: Wednesday, June 19, 9:00pm
Special Instructions: At the trailhead there is water and restroom facilities. Bring a lunch to enjoy at the swimming hole and an optional swim suit, towel & water shoes like Tevas or Keens. You can just hop in with your quick-dry hiking clothes as you will drip dry very quickly on the hike out. You'll need some money if you're joining us for a cold beverage/snack in Payson on the way home.


Not sure what to bring? Checklists are available here.

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  • Delisse G.

    How wonderful to hike through that pretty forest with such a nice group of Soles. Thanks so much to Ron for all the help guiding the hike. It's pretty hard to find a loop that's UPHILL BOTH WAYS. :-) And, Matt, you were right: El Rancho fish tacos are the best!

    June 24, 2013

  • joyce h.

    5 star event. Thank you so much for planning Delisse and Ron for his excellent suggestion and Matt for his food selection. What a beautiful day with the breeze and lower temps.

    1 · June 23, 2013

  • Deb

    Great hike, beautiful day!! Wandering soles has the friendliest members :)) Thanks for planning Delise.

    1 · June 23, 2013

  • Caroline

    Delisse, I can't make it. I have no one to watch my dogs for the day. My son decided to stay overnight at a friend's and may not get a ride home, so I can't leave the dogs alone all those hours if I left (no doggie door). I wanted to do Horton Creek for a long time now, too. :-(

    June 23, 2013

  • artie

    i've been fighting a cold all week - and the cold is winning

    June 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm going to have to back out. It sounds like its going to be a great hike!

    June 22, 2013

  • Delisse G.

    Probably no need for a swimsuit tomorrow. You will need [1] Lots of water - at least 3 liters - [2] lunch to enjoy at the creek [3] money for restaurant & gas. Let's eat at La Sierra Mexican Restaurant 800 N Beeline Hwy. We'll see you at 7:00 am at Pyle. -Delisse

    2 · June 22, 2013

  • Caroline

    I had to change plans on this one. I just checked my schedule & turns out I had 2 things going that day. :-\

    June 11, 2013

    • Caroline

      I was able to cancel those other 2 things. I really wanted to take this hike.

      1 · June 16, 2013

  • Ronald H.

    I can do this hike (can't do Kendricks peak). This hike will be my silver medal..

    1 · June 9, 2013

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