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Horton Creek Trail #285
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mini location map2013-10-19
50 by photographer avatartibber
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Horton Creek Trail #285Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 19 2013
tibber
Hiking8.72 Miles 1,286 AEG
Hiking8.72 Miles   6 Hrs   15 Mns   2.49 mph
1,286 ft AEG   2 Hrs   45 Mns Break
 
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mjmr89
Talked my niece and her boyfriend into hiking with me to see if we could find some fall color. Yep we did and you can too as I think the next couple weeks will be even better. I feared not finding parking easily but that was not an issue at 9:30.

We got on the trail and experienced low to high 60s :) for our journey. As soon as the trail headed toward the creek, I made sure we stayed on it for as much as we could. We got to cross over this one area that had a little bridge across from a campsite but because I wasn't sure of getting back over from the other side, we opted to stay west of the creek. In the summer you don't care if you get your feet wet but this time of year, I preferred dry feet. It also seemed it was redder on the east side of the creek too.

The colors would come and go and the creek was flowing good :DANCE: . We enjoyed the hike at a leisurely pace as we would stop and admire or goof around (after all I was with the young 'uns) when we found cool sites. There are so many camping spots and good ones too.

We eventually had to come and stay out of the creek to finish up the elevation to the spring. It looks to me like they have re-routed the trail in spots to get you off the rockier road part. I am very appreciative of that : app : . I liked the switchbacks that get you to the pool of water below the spring. They were nice and level. VO of AZ was working in the area and directed us up the path to the springs.

We had a nice lunch. There were only about 5 other people in the area. There was some nice fall color around here though not prolific. I figured we were too late for Bruce since I know they always start early and hike at a pretty good clip. I had brot extra TibberSnacks that we ended up eating back at the TH along with our Pumpkin Spice beers.

Before we left I checked out the entrance/exit gate to the Highline Trail where we spotted yet another camping spot. We started back down and opted to stay as close to the creek for as long as we could. We found another couple camping spots and then ended up back at the switchbacks. Not too far from here we spotted the perfect camping spot with nice grass and everything. We stopped here for a bit to take it all in including some nice fall color :FG: .

We eventually got back to the creek for a little while. Somewhere along here when I went to change my camera battery down by a little waterfall, Scout jumped out of my camera bag and fortunately landed NOT in the water but close and that is why I don't have a full GPS track. We saw a guy with two dogs trying to get them to chase a stick. Based on the results there was an obvious difference in breeds :lol: achieving that task.

Shortly after here we ended up back on the main trail and before you knew it, we got too far away to get back to the creek. My niece was having trouble with her knees so maybe it was for the best. Luckily along the way, we got to see some more fall color and a couple critters. We finished off our day with a wonderful dinner at El Rancho and a sunset over the McDowells as we got close to Fountain Hills.

Yep, I took way too much video again ](*,) . I think I may need to try a polarizer because coming in and out of shade is a little difficult for lighting.
Named place
Named place
Horton Creek Horton Spring
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
HAZ Member
tibber's
972 Photosets

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