Sat Sept 8, 2012
Carpool 7am, Hike 9am
Easy-Moderate 8 miles
The Forest Service is now allowing hiking in this area (camping still not permitted due to bear encounters) so let's head to one of our favorite places! With an elevation gain of only 750 feet, this easier tranquil trail provides serenity and abundant wildflowers! From the parking area, walk up to the Campground to the trailhead. From here, the Horton Creek Trail drops quickly down to the creek. Cross the water and follow the very wide path a short ways to the fork. Take a LEFT as it climbs up a rocky path and then passes through a gate. The trail pulls away from the creek but the scenery is still awesome! Expect to see wild strawberry, woods rose, yellow columbine & Indian paintbrush. The trail follows the creek for the next 2 miles. Although rocky in some places, the going is an easy gentle grade. The last half mile the trail climbs steeply away from the creek and ends at the Highline Trail #31. To reach the Spring, walk to your right about 300 feet, and you'll see the Spring. Sit down, relax & enjoy the babbling water! NO FEE AT THIS TIME!
Optional lunch afterwards at Kohl's Ranch Lodge [masked].
Carpool: Target Shopping Center 16825 E Shea Blvd Fountain Hills, AZ Please park on the North curb away from Target.
Directions to Trailhead: From Payson, drive East on SR 260 for 16 miles. Just past Kohl's Ranch, turn LEFT onto the signed road to the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery. Go 1 mile to the signed trailhead parking area on the left. Restrooms at trailhead.
Bring: 3-4 liters water, snacks, hat, sunscreen, bugspray, emergency rain poncho or jacket & $1 for the 3H fund.