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Horton Creek - Overnighter with toddler?

Posted: Oct 10 2020 12:12 pm
by xsproutx
Hey everyone! First post here but god knows I've used this site for a while. I come with a question that I'm pretty sure about, but just want to double-check. I'm looking to take my daughter (4.5 years old) on her first backpacking trip this upcoming week, either Monday night or Thursday night. I've never actually hiked Horton Creek, but it seems like it might be a good place to take her as I don't have to worry about carrying a ton of water and the temperature/shade is good; we'd get to the trailhead around 2 or 3.
My real question is: are there a lot of potential camp sites on the way? I honestly don't think she'll want to hike the whole 4 miles or so to the falls as she's only done 2 miles as her farthest so far, so my plan is to just camp when she gets tuckered out without having to push her on and making her miserable. It's the first time, I gotta make it good!
Also, I'm not particularly married to this idea so if someone has a better idea for this scenario, I'm all ears

Re: Horton Creek - Overnighter with toddler?

Posted: Oct 10 2020 12:56 pm
by wildwesthikes
Tons of campsites along the entire length of it once water starts flowing along the trail. including nearby the spring/waterfall. Should not be busy on a weekday. There will be random hikers about but not crowds. Saturdays are a whole other story. Easy hiking - great overnighter for a youngster. Lots of trees/shade near water. You will have to cross the creek to get to most of the campsites. Frequently you can get this done without getting your feet wet.

Re: Horton Creek - Overnighter with toddler?

Posted: Oct 10 2020 1:17 pm
by LindaAnn
Horton Creek is a great overnighter for kids, my kids enjoyed it when they were younger. There are some good campsites about 2 miles in. The best spot is easy to see—it has a teepee looking thing built out of tree branches, about 6-7’ tall. Easy to cross the creek without getting your feet wet. Double check the forest orders—I think camping within a mile of the spring itself is prohibited, due to some owls or something, but I can’t remember the details. Either way, going in about 2 miles keeps you well outside of that boundary. Enjoy!

Re: Horton Creek - Overnighter with toddler?

Posted: Oct 10 2020 1:24 pm
by wildwesthikes
@LindaAnn
The forest order about camping near the spring has been cleared I believe. I checked to be sure as I was camped there on 8/31 the day the order expired, but had no way to look up on the website at the time - so I went with what the signs said. I checked the FS site day after I got back and it was no longer listed under current closure orders. But yes I'd check anyway to be sure.

Also to OP, be aware that you'll be in Tonto National Forest anywhere below the top of the rim and they are in Stage 1 fire restrictions until at least Oct. 31st, so you will be unable to have a campfire anywhere along Horton.

Re: Horton Creek - Overnighter with toddler?

Posted: Oct 10 2020 1:44 pm
by xsproutx
@wildwesthikes
Thanks! Figured this was the case but since I have the kid, I have to be an "adult" and "responsible" and be extra sure of crap. BTW, I watched one of your videos on youtube the other day and subscribed. I'm really into outdoors youtube but seems so many of them are hiking in the Whites in NH or doing canoe trips up in the northern lakes; nice to see something more relatable!

Re: Horton Creek - Overnighter with toddler?

Posted: Oct 14 2020 1:12 pm
by xsproutx
Welp. Looks like I waited a bit too long and the fire will likely/certainly have this closed tomorrow. Anyone have any other ideas for somewhere that has water to filter and is kid friendly? Is it possible to hike half of Woods Canyon loop and bushwhack off trail a little to camp...?

Re: Horton Creek - Overnighter with toddler?

Posted: Oct 14 2020 2:05 pm
by te_wa
canyon creek

Re: Horton Creek - Overnighter with toddler?

Posted: Oct 14 2020 8:45 pm
by ALMAL
@xsproutx
West Clear Creek #17