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Horse Crossing Trail #20 - 9 members in 24 triplogs have rated this an average 3.3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Aug 08 2009
Tim
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 Guides 10
 Triplogs 431

60 male
 Joined Feb 25 2002
 Scottsdale
Horse Crossing Trail #20Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 08 2009
Tim
Hiking1.90 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking1.90 Miles   1 Hour      1.90 mph
500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Having failed several weeks ago to find the exit up the eastern side of the Horse Crossing Trail, I returned this past weekend with the plan to hike down from the eastern trailhead to determine where exactly this trail intersected East Clear Creek.

The eastern trailhead is located off of FSR 137 at N34 34.814 W111 07.735 and is well signed. This is pretty much where the Topo map shows it to be. The road is in good shape and any passenger vehicle could manage it as long as the road is dry. The trail heads straight down the ridge so it is very steep. The trail is in surprisingly good shape as it is maintained by the Wild Geese Club in memory of somebody. (Sorry, but I can't remember what the commemorative sign along the trail said exactly.) Instead of switching back as shown on the Topo map, the trail continues straight down to the creek bed at N34 34.935 W111 08.140. This is roughly at the "C" in the word "Creek" on the Topo map. Very devious. Several weeks ago we had been searching for this trail almost a 1/2 mile further down stream near where the Topo map shows the Horse Crossing Trail, (incorrectly), coming down from the west. At the bottom of the trail, there is a small rock cairn with a number of yellow ribbons tied in the trees that lead one from the creek bed to the well defined trail heading up the ridge.

Knowing the location of the eastern sections of both the Kinder and Horse Crossing Trails it would be possible to make the 8 mile loop up and around the eastern side. This would involve 2.5 miles of hiking FSR 137, but this road is not well traveled and resembles more of a track than a road and would be a pleasant stroll through the pines.
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Jul 18 2009
Vaporman
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 8,687
 Triplogs 931

42 male
 Joined Mar 28 2005
 SLC, Utah
Horse Crossing Trail #20Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Jul 18 2009
Vaporman
Backpack15.00 Miles 750 AEG
Backpack15.00 Miles1 Day   5 Hrs      
750 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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I actually dropped into East Clear Creek via Kinder Crossing, but I hiked downstream and camped near Horse Crossing Saturday evening and spent most of Sunday hiking a few hours further downstream (north) of that. I had just my car with me, so I parked just off of FR95 on the 95T turnoff for Kinder and hiked the gnarly road a quarter mile or so to the TH and then quickly dropped down into ECC. A few other people were camping at the bottom of that trail, but my camping destination was a few miles downstream somewhere near the Horse Crossing trail. The creek is only about ankle to knee deep most of the way with an occasional small pool to take a dip in and is much easier to navigate than say WCC. So I'd wade the creek a bit and when I got tired of that I'd just hop up on one of the gravel/sand bars and bushwhack a bit more before getting a little hot and jump back in the creek for a light dip. And unlike WCC there's no main water features to hike to: no falls, large swimmers, interesting side canyons or springs that I've come across. It's just a pleasant, peaceful and fairly scenic creek to stroll along. :D A noisy afternoon thunderstorm rolled in and sprinkled a few times :scared: , but thankfully left the area soon after sunset. After camping just downstream of Horse Crossing, I spend most of Sunday morning hiking another few hours downstream before stopping for lunch and returning back upstream as some noisy thunderstorms rolled in to the north. My legs were getting a bit tired from all the creek hiking, so I hiked out on Horse Crossing trail for my first time to check it out and then road walked another 2 miles back to FR95 and over a bit to where my car was parked. The trail is in great shape, but that road to Horse Crossing TH has a few tricky spots that'd require some high clearance for sure. :o
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Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
Jun 03 2007
Vaporman
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 8,687
 Triplogs 931

42 male
 Joined Mar 28 2005
 SLC, Utah
Kinder Crossing Trail #19Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 03 2007
Vaporman
Hiking8.50 Miles 370 AEG
Hiking8.50 Miles   5 Hrs   15 Mns   1.62 mph
370 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
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I parked at the turnoff for the TH from FR95 because I came in my car and didn't want to risk it on 95T. It only adds 0.6 miles each way for the hike. I hiked down to the creek, enjoyed the pools and small waterfall some, before hiking the 3 miles downstream to Horse Crossing. What a sweet, enjoyable trip that was. Ate lunch before turning around and enjoying it all over again. Cooled off in the pools again before hiking out and running into hikeAZ on the way out. What a pleasant secluded creek with many creekside camping spots for a future backpacking trip. :)
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Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
Jul 20 2005
OUTDRWM
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 Photos 19
 Triplogs 2

49 female
 Joined Jul 22 2005
 Joseph City, AZ
Horse Crossing Trail #20Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 20 2005
OUTDRWM
Hiking1.00 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles   3 Hrs      0.33 mph
500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
On the way to the trailhead we saw two mule deer, various squirrels and chipmunks, and lots of lizards. We were in a subaru sedan which made it to the trailhead, but it was hairy in a few spots. A high clearance vehicle would be best for the last 2 miles.

Horse Crossing is a beautiful area. Steep decent leads to a quiet spot where the kids enjoyed wading and discovering life in the pools. They found crawdads and minnows everywhere. The trail itself revealed shell fossils and crystals which made for a long hike back up ("Mom, look at this one!") The hike down didn't take long, but the hike up took an hour. Give yourself lots of time to enjoy the scenery once at the bottom of the canyon. I would recommend this hike for older kids. My 9 year old had no problem, but my 5 year old complained most of the way up.
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average hiking speed 1.76 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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