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Derrick Trail - Horton Loop
51 Photosets
1,  2,  3 

11 by
Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking Oct 17 2009
Hiking8.50 Miles 1,600 AEG
Hiking8.50 Miles   5 Hrs      1.70 mph
1,600 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked descriptions
Partners none no partners
I just purchased a new SPOT II GPS locator and decided to go on trail and try it out, so my wife dropped me off at the Horton Campground parking area and about one hour out I sent her a custom message to meet me back there. Well the good news is that it worked fine and she was there (but forgot to switch the 2 way radio on!)

Now for the hike. I followed the directions in this website through the campground and found my way to the Derrick Trail courtesy of a sign saying Derrick Trail 33 / Highline Trail 2 1/2 . I found this part of the trail not very interesting, lots of rocks and boulders and steadily climbing in elevation, the directions stated that the trail becomes like a road, but I never saw this, in fact I just kept heading north on the Derrick Trail until I came to a sharp turn left. According to my GPS this was at 34.34549, -111.06264 but my Topo map (which I had marked) I should have turned at 34.34773, -111.06005. I went on for a hundred yards and felt this was wrong (although the trail was a good trail), so I went back and tried to go further north but as there were a lot of downed trees in the way I climbed over a few and decided there was no path there so I went back the way I originally went.

Somehow this trail went west, then north, but I ended back on the Highline Trail (going East to West). I was very surprised at how many trees were down and in the way, some of them were very hard to even climb over, one combination had me climbing over the first and then going under the second! The trail continued to climb and was getting steep, I think I was nearly at 6,900 feet at one stage and I passed a sign saying Promontory Butte – but looked like a bigger climb than the one I was on so I gave it a miss. The trail started going down again. There were many more rocks and boulders and downed trees than I expected, also this was taking a bit longer and steeper than I expected.

After coming across the western part of the Highline Trail I was beginning to wonder if I was on the right track as I had not seen anybody at all after three hours then as if by magic I came across 1 man and 2 lady hikers asking me how far it was to go back the other way. They told me I was close to Horton Springs, well I think there is their definition of close and then mine (they were hiking downwards), but it took a big effort to climb up to get there, but finally I heard the sound of splashing water! I did not think that much of the Springs, maybe it was the wrong time of year, so I immediately headed down for the campground. I thought this would be the easy part, but again there were so many rocks and boulders and trees in the way it really slowed me down. Finally I got there and went to a pub in Tonto Creek for a deserved beer (or two).

3 Photosets

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