Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hike #13: Horton Creek Trail, Tonto National Forest

Length: 10 miles (8 miles of the Horton Creek Trail plus 2 miles of the Highland Trail)

As the name suggests, the Horton Creek Trail traces its way along the Horton Creek to its spring source. As the creek slowly tumbles its way to the bottom, the trail weaves through the forest beside the creek. The forest itself is quite beautiful; with a large numbers of oaks and maples, this forest is perhaps the most "eastern" of any I've yet seen in Arizona.

However, the creek is by far the true star of this trail. With the cool spring being at the top of the mountain, the creek has to work its way down the gradual slope - this means more picturesque waterfalls than one could imagine! In fact, I would highly recommend foregoing the established trail and working your way along the makeshift trails along the creek banks whenever possible!

My only complaint about this trail is the difficulty in locating the second trail that was suppose to complete the loop. Although I walked the Highland Trail for a good mile, I found very few trail markers and knew little about where the return trail was suppose to, I chose to return the way I came rather than continue towards the unknown.

To see more pictures of the the Horton Creek Trail, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Horton Creek is one of the best hikes in AZ, I especially remember the hikes on it before the Dude Fire in 1990, the whole rim was so lush and green. Last time I did the loop (2001?) the sign at the junction of Highline Trail and Derrick Trail was well-marked, it turns out to be a longer distance than you would think to the junction.