Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hike #36: Horton Creek Trail, Tonto National Forest

Length: 5 miles

Well, the thing I most feared finally happened...I got about 50 miles outside the Phoenix area when I suddenly realized that I hadn't brought my camera! Had I been by myself, I might have considered just turning around and forgetting the hike; however, since I was with a friend, I decided that it would probably be best just to continue onward. I did, however, decide to alter my hiking plans so that I repeated a previous hike rather than continue to a completely new trail without the ability to record my adventure photographically!

I had originally hoped to hike the Fossil Creek Trail just north of Payson near the town of Strawberry; instead, I chose to re-hike the Horton Creek Trail just 20 miles east of Payson. My last visit to Horton Creek was in the Fall, so the warmer Spring weather did provide a completely different perspective. The trail still provided the same dramatic views of the creek as is cascades down the mountain-side. However, on this trip, there was the added beauty from an abundance of wildflowers; I wish I could have identified more of them, but the only ones I could definitely identify were the numerous pink wild roses!

Although I did remember the fantastic views of Horton Creek, I somehow failed to remember the significant incline of the trail! The full length of this trail (to the spring) is approximately 8.5 miles roundtrip. Unfortunately, I decided against hiking the whole trail, instead choosing to turn around after 2.5 miles.