Horton Creek Loop Tonto National Forest

Horton Creek Loop trail elevation profile

Scenic Loop To Horton Spring

Although the Horton Creek trail is a popular out-and-back hike to Horton Spring, this loop adds variety and nearly two more miles of Ponderosa Pine forest scenery under the high slopes of the Mogollon Rim.

Leaving the confluence of the perennial Tonto and Horton creeks, the path begins from the Upper Tonto Creek Campground on the Derrick trail, climbing gently through open forest past the Derrick Spur junction. After some rocky areas and manzanita, the Highline trail junction turns north to skirt the western slope of Promontory Butte. This section of smooth, winding trail is some of the most scenic hiking under the rim and a worthwhile destination in itself.

Crossing the east fork of the creek and over a small hill, the Highline Trail reaches Horton Creek and the spring flowing down the steep hillside to the north. From the spring and upper creek area, Horton Creek trail is a fast descent, loosely paralleling the creek with several unofficial trails closer to the water for more exploration.

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