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Promontory Trail #278 - 16 members in 67 triplogs have rated this an average 3.4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Aug 21 2021
hikerdw
avatar

 Routes 165
 Photos 2,829
 Triplogs 487

62 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Promontory Butte 7,914Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 21 2021
hikerdw
Hiking12.93 Miles 2,712 AEG
Hiking12.93 Miles   5 Hrs   58 Mns   2.44 mph
2,712 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Hiked to the base via Derrick and a small section of the Highline, then made the climb up Promontory Trail which although steep was easy to follow on this day. Hiked over to the high point and enjoyed the views then did some exploring while taking advantage of the great temps.
_____________________
May 08 2021
John10s
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 Routes 22
 Photos 1,347
 Triplogs 76

37 male
 Joined Mar 01 2018
 Chandler, AZ
Derrick - Horton LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 08 2021
John10s
Hiking12.69 Miles 3,364 AEG
Hiking12.69 Miles   7 Hrs   40 Mns   2.07 mph
3,364 ft AEG   1 Hour   32 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
It didn't end up being unreasonably hot in the Valley on Saturday, but we headed north for the second straight weekend. We parked at Derrick Trailhead and started Derrick-Horton loop clockwise, following Horton Creek Trail toward the springs. I'd never hiked Horton before and was pleased to find it less crowded than expected--the Horton parking lot and the campgrounds near the trailhead were busy, but we didn't see too many people on the trail early on. The hike was easy and very pleasant with the sound of the creek flowing nearby, cool weather, the smell of pine, and some beautiful waterfalls along the way. After a lot of desert hikes and the extreme drought, it was nice to be around some water for a change.

We started to see more hikers around Horton Spring and had to make our way around people posing for pictures all over the falls...gotta love hiking the "popular" trails. It wasn't part of the original plan, but we added a little mileage by starting up Horton Springs Trail and enjoyed the panoramic views closer to the rim before starting back down. There were even more people at the springs as we passed again, but Highline Trail was almost completely empty and provided more views of the distant surroundings.

We decided to tack on the 0.75-mile spur to Promontory Butte, knowing it wouldn't be particularly fast hiking given the 1,000+ feet of elevation gain up to the rim in under a mile. The trail apparently doesn't get much traffic and even less maintenance work. There were a lot of downed logs along the way, and the GPS came in handy in areas where cairns didn't mark the route since the trail was often very faint--it felt like an off-trail hike along some stretches. There was a lot of loose dirt and rock, especially closer to the top, but it was a nice workout, and the butte offered great panoramic views. However, if you don't like steep trails, I'm not sure the last few tenths of a mile justify the extra effort for the slightly better view at the top :).

We made our way back to Highline and connected with Derrick Trail. After passing a biker and a few hikers, we didn't see any other people on the trail the rest of the afternoon. The east side of the loop on Highline/Derrick didn't quite measure up to the Horton side scenery-wise since it didn't have the creek running alongside, but it was still a beautiful area. There was more red rock that I'd expected, and some spots near the Highline/Derrick intersection looked a little like Sedona. We had more views of the rim as we finished off the loop and found ourselves back among the crowds at the parking lot.

It was a very scenic loop with some good variation along different sections of the route. I was expecting an easy stroll-in-the-woods hike, but with the detours up Horton Springs Trail and up to Promontory Butte, we ended with quite a bit of accumulated elevation gain. Getting back and doing more reading on HAZ, we could have added a little more mileage and hiked the Super Loop and seen some new things instead of the out-and-back spurs we added to the smaller loop, though we probably ended up with more elevation gain this way. Something to try next time...

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Big Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max East Fork Horton Creek Medium flow Medium flow
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Horton Creek Medium flow Medium flow
1 archive
Apr 16 2020
LJW
avatar

 Photos 923
 Triplogs 218

27 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Promontory Butte - Bear Canyon Lake Loop, AZ 
Promontory Butte - Bear Canyon Lake Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 16 2020
LJW
Hiking27.56 Miles 4,800 AEG
Hiking27.56 Miles   12 Hrs   21 Mns   2.95 mph
4,800 ft AEG   3 Hrs    Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
I did this loop in August last year without Bear Canyon Lake and thought it would make a nice addition during the cooler months. A friend and I took the loop clockwise starting around 6:30am at the Derrick trailhead.

Horton Creek was in great shape, thanks in part to a biker we met who kept stopping to toss rocks off the side of the trail. Shady in the early morning and over quickly. Stopped at the spring before heading up Highline. Strong flow of water in the creek and from the spring.

Up and down on Highline to Promontory, and it was pretty easy going. Highline was probably the best maintained trail on the day. Promontory on the other hand was slippery with pine needles and loose rock. Took a while to make it up the steep climb to top of the rim where we took a short break before heading across the rim to Promontory Butte's highpoint.

Hung out at the high point for a while before heading through the forest to FR76 and taking that to FR300. 76 is closed to motorized traffic, so we didn't see anyone on Promontory Butte. I thought 300 was still closed and there wouldn't be any traffic around the lake, but I guess it opened in the week before. Saw our second group of people car camped where 300 meets 76.

Went straight across 300 into Bear Canyon and followed the water down. The hike in Bear Canyon was probably my favorite part of the trip, along with the lake itself. Gentle flow of water and the travel was pretty easy with little brush and deadfall to contend with. The canyon widened out as it went down and revealed meadows and clearings that wouldn't be out of place in the White Mountains.

Took the Lake Trail around to the little rocky isthmus on the south shore. Bear Canyon Lake was as full as I've seen it, and the old timers at the lake who were more familiar made similar statements. Most of the people we saw on the day were at the lake. A couple people on floats fishing, and a couple families hanging out fishing around the shore.

From the lake we took the Lake Trail up to FR208 and headed back toward 300. Cut corners through the forest to shorten the trip to See Canyon's upper trailhead. See Canyon has significant deadfall higher up and a little bit farther down the canyon as well. Good flow of water, a little at the top a lot toward the bottom. Saw a few turkeys in See Canyon and one person out taking pictures near the lower th.

Climbed up Highline as the sun was getting low. Flew down the smooth Highline trail to Derrick where the tread is rough higher up but not so bad farther down. Saw a half dozen elk near the bottom of Derrick as the sun started to set. Made it back before dark having only seen two hikers/bikers the whole trip.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Bear Canyon Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Horton Creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Horton Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
7 archives
Apr 11 2020
DixieFlyer
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 Guides 60
 Routes 574
 Photos 8,093
 Triplogs 518

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Horton Super Loop PlusPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 11 2020
DixieFlyer
Hiking15.30 Miles 2,943 AEG
Hiking15.30 Miles   7 Hrs   2 Mns   2.59 mph
2,943 ft AEG   1 Hour   7 Mns Break
 
It had been 6 months since I had been up to the Rim Country, so I was way overdue. I rectified that situation by doing the Horton Super Loop plus a side trip over to the Gila County co-high point on Promontory Butte.

We started at the Horton Creek TH and hiked alongside Horton Creek on the Horton Creek Trail. We hit the Highline Trail, and went a very short distance over to Horton Spring. There was a good bit of water in the creek as well as the spring.

We then made the steep climb up to the Rim on the Horton Spring Trail. I got us off track a little bit on the first part of the trail, but I managed to hit the trail again in short order. This trail is steep, gaining about 1,200 feet in 0.9 miles. However, it is a decent trail and is fairly easy to follow with lots of cairns.

Once on the Rim Road, we headed east for a ways before going off-trail to FR 76. I probably could have turned sooner off the Rim Road and saved some mileage. Once on FR 76, we headed back to the west for a ways before going off trail and going to the Gila County High Point. At the high point we saw the cadastral survey marker and the summit cairn -- the summit register needs a new log book, which I forgot bring. Then we went a little SE over to where the benchmark and 2 reference disks are and ate lunch.

Then we went off-trail for a bit over to the Promontory TH, and descended on the steep, slippery, primitive Promontory Trail until we got to the Highline Trail. The Promontory Trail is about as bad as it gets for a named trail. Once on Highline, we headed south to the Derrick Trail, and then took Derrick back to the TH.

It was a great day to be up there -- the temperature was about 40 at the start of the hike, and it was mostly in the 40's for the entire hike, although it was 53 when we got back to the TH. There was a bit of thunder just before we got to the Promontory Trail, and there were a few snow flurries during the descent on the Promontory Trail. There was a smidgen of snow in a couple of places up on Promontory Butte, but snow was a non-issue on the hike.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
There were essentially no wildflowers to be seen right now.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Horton Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow
There was a good bit of water in Horton Creek.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Horton Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
There was a good bit of water coming out of the spring.
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
Sep 14 2019
chumley
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 Guides 83
 Routes 692
 Photos 16,091
 Triplogs 1,616

48 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Horton Promontory Rim Loop, AZ 
Horton Promontory Rim Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 14 2019
chumley
Hiking9.46 Miles 2,011 AEG
Hiking9.46 Miles   3 Hrs   58 Mns   2.64 mph
2,011 ft AEG      23 Mns Break
1st trip
Checked off a couple of all-time uniques.

292 is steep. A few spots of deadfall and one section in particular where there are many user/wildlife-created switchbacks that deviate from the tread.

3 small groups at the spring.

Highline was nice. I forgot how thick and lush some of the drainages down here are. It was farther to get across to 278 than I thought it would be.

278 was nicer than I had been told. Steep for sure, but it's over quickly. Some nice views along the way too.

76 has been closed to vehicles for a year or more. The FS has redone all the roads on the butte in preparation for 4FRI. Hopefully they can get through it next spring and get the road open again. Then again, it was pleasant walking out there knowing there was nobody else around.

The rain came before I got back to Crook. It didn't last too long, but I had to get all geared up. Actually turned out to be nice since it knocked down all the dust on the 300 which made much nicer conditions to complete the loop.
Named place
Named place
Promontory Butte
_____________________
33s over 45s
5 archives
Aug 15 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 923
 Triplogs 218

27 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Promontory Butte 7,914Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 15 2019
LJW
Hiking22.77 Miles 4,556 AEG
Hiking22.77 Miles   7 Hrs   16 Mns   3.25 mph
4,556 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Wanted to combine a trip to Promontory Butte with the Horton-Derrick loop, but decided to make it a little longer in order to see more of the Highline Trail. Started at 5:20am on Horton and took the loop clockwise.

Horton Creek is very pleasant, a nice gradual gain always within earshot of the creek. Went to the spring and headed up Highline. Saw 4 elk, all bucks.

Made it to Promontory and saw it's still a long way to the top despite the 3/4mile distance posted on the sign. The trail has a good amount of deadfall and is pretty well overgrown in spots. Nice views distracted from the toughest part of the hike.

Walked cross country along the rim to Promontory Butte. As is true pretty much everywhere on the rim, nice forest with great views of the Mazatzals. Very quiet apart from the occasional passing plane. From the highpoint I cut through the forest to FR764 and took that to 300. The gate to 764 was closed, so seemingly no one was out on Promontory Butte.

Took See Canyon down. The only people I saw all day were 2 groups at the beginning and end of the trail. Trail's in great shape, those varmint callers do good work.

Once on Highline it started to get warm. It was more exposed than I thought it would be. Not too much shade overall, and the same was true for Derrick. Mid 90s by the time I finished, but it seemed cooler than that.
5 archives
May 26 2019
BiFrost
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 Guides 4
 Routes 372
 Photos 8,261
 Triplogs 1,002

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Derrick - Horton LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 26 2019
BiFrost
Hiking10.27 Miles 3,357 AEG
Hiking10.27 Miles   4 Hrs   54 Mns   2.20 mph
3,357 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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Partners partners
slowandsteady
Another cool day in the pines. Kathy had a dog from the animal shelter she wanted to take out for the day so we chose Horton Springs area. While Kathy went up Horton Springs Trail I headed up Derrick Trail and the plan was to meet at Horton Spring. Derrick Trail was in decent shape and not very steep so I made the Highline turnoff quickly. Once on the Highline it’s a super trail and I think some work has been done since last time I hiked it. Making good time I decided to try the Promontory Butte Trail with the goal of getting to the rim. The trail is in rough shape and unfortunately I lost the trail and ended up on some game trails about 200 feet short of the rim. Not wanting to waste too much time headed back to Highline Trail.

Back on the Highline it’s quick hike over to Horton Springs where Kathy was waiting. Only saw 3 people on the Derrick and Highline trail with great weather so it was a very pleasant hike. However, being Memorial Day weekend Horton Springs Trail was somewhat a cluster as expected. Despite that still was able to check out some of the cool cascades on the way down canyon. At least the shelter dog had great time away from the kennel :)
_____________________
3 archives
Apr 30 2019
DixieFlyer
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 Guides 60
 Routes 574
 Photos 8,093
 Triplogs 518

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Promontory Butte via See Canyon, AZ 
Promontory Butte via See Canyon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 30 2019
DixieFlyer
Hiking15.20 Miles 2,658 AEG
Hiking15.20 Miles   7 Hrs   32 Mns   2.58 mph
2,658 ft AEG   1 Hour   38 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I enjoy hiking to Promontory Butte, but had never done it from See Canyon. What a difference a month makes! I attempted this hike in late March, and there was about 3' of snow up on the Rim Road, so I wound up turning around and going back to the TH.

I started and ended the hike at the See Canyon TH. I did a CCW loop by taking the See Canyon Trail up to the Rim; then taking Rim Road 300 to FR 76; then taking FR 76 and another forest road before going off-trail to the high point on the edge of Promontory Butte. From there I continued off trail to the Promontory Trail, took the Promontory Trail down to the Highline Trail, and then took the Highline Trail back to the TH.

The Promontory Trail is still in need of some TLC -- I don't think that there has been any maintenance on this trail in quite some time. The trail doesn't seem any worse than last year though, so the winter weather does not seem to have had a negative impact on it.

This was my first time on the section of the Highline Trail from the Derrick Trail junction to the See Canyon TH. It was nice hiking on this section, especially after coming down on the Promontory Trail. I have now hiked the western section of the Highline Trail from Pine to Geronimo, and the eastern section from the Fish Hatchery to the 260 TH. I still need to do the section from Geronimo to the Fish Hatchery.

It was a cold, damp day so unsurprisingly I saw no other hikers. I did see a camera-hogging elk up on Promontory Butte though.
Fauna
Fauna
Elk
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
There were almost no wildflowers
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
2 archives
Aug 19 2018
JuanJaimeiii
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 Routes 571
 Photos 8,283
 Triplogs 1,824

54 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Derrick - Horton LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 19 2018
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking10.58 Miles 3,062 AEG
Hiking10.58 Miles   3 Hrs   52 Mns   2.80 mph
3,062 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 
This was just what the doctor ordered. Apparently I wasn't the only one that had the same idea as it was pretty busy up there today. The parking lot was full so I had to park up the road a bit. Once past the spring I only saw three other people. The Promontory Trail is difficult to follow for the first quarter mile due to downed trees. After that it isn't bad. Felt great to get out of town for a bit. :y:

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Horton Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Horton Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
_____________________
1 archive
Apr 15 2018
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 60
 Routes 574
 Photos 8,093
 Triplogs 518

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Horton Super Loop PlusPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2018
DixieFlyer
Hiking16.00 Miles 3,000 AEG
Hiking16.00 Miles   8 Hrs   36 Mns   2.73 mph
3,000 ft AEG   2 Hrs   44 Mns Break
 
Being a glutton for punishment, I decided to do this hike once again. This time, there were 6 of us with a meetup group that were on the hike.

We did the loop clockwise, so as to avoid going up the Promontory Trail. On this trip, going up the Horton Springs Trail seemed more difficult than last time, and going down the Promontory Trail seemed easier than last time.

Once we got on FR 76, I took a bit of a circuitous route getting to Promontory Butte -- a more direct route would probably have shaved a half mile or so off of the distance.

The views at Promontory Butte were very nice, as always. Actually, it was a very clear day, so the views were even better than normal.

When we started the hike the temperature was in the low 30's, and it was around 70 when we got back.

One interesting thing about this hike was when we were hiking on Rim Road 300/General Crook Trail 140. We were walking east on the Rim Road and an off road vehicle came up behind us. When the vehicle got beside us, the driver told us that as he was coming up to us, a mountain lion went across the road just behind us. Since we were looking ahead, we never saw the mountain lion. I am just glad that the mountain lion was not looking for a meal...lol.
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
2 archives
Apr 04 2018
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 60
 Routes 574
 Photos 8,093
 Triplogs 518

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Horton Super Loop PlusPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 04 2018
DixieFlyer
Hiking16.30 Miles 3,000 AEG
Hiking16.30 Miles   8 Hrs   39 Mns   2.59 mph
3,000 ft AEG   2 Hrs   21 Mns Break
 
I have wanted to do this hike, and I decided to do the loop clockwise so as to go down, instead of up, Promontory Trail #278 -- I think that was the right call.

Starting at the Horton Creek TH, Tracie, my intrepid hiking partner, and I travelled on Horton Creek Trail #285 to get to Horton Spring, and then took the Horton Springs Trail #292 to get up to Rim Road 300/General Crook Trail #140. Then we went east on the General Crook Trail for a little over 2 miles, and then took an easy jaunt through the forest to get to Forest Road 276. We then took that to the Promentory TH, and then went to the SE to get over to Promentory Butte. At the Butte we stopped at the point where we saw a survey marker and the logbook that had been placed there by Joe Bartels back in 2003. From there we went SE to where the Butte juts out a bit, and saw 2 other survey markers. Then we backtracked back to the Promentory TH, and descended down to the Highline Trail on the very steep Promentory Trail #278. Then we turned left on the Highline Trail and after about 3/4 mile we took the Derrick Trail back to the Horton Springs TH.

As advertised, all but 2 miles of the hike are on easy to moderate trails. The exceptions are the Horton Springs Trail #292 and the Promontory Trail #278. I had never been on the Horton Springs Trail, and it was easier than I thought that it would be -- the footing was mostly pretty good and the trail was generally easy to follow. But it was fairly steep, gaining around 1,200 feet over 1.2 miles. I had been up and down the Promontory Trail before, and it does not get any easier. This is a primitive trail that is poorly maintained, is hard to follow, is very steep (you go down 1,150 feet in 0.8 miles), has poor footing on much of the trail, and there is a lot of deadfall to negotiate. Other than that, it is a delightful trail to hike!

Virtually all of the elevation gain on this hike is in the first 5 miles. In looking at a map, I could have shortened the distance by a mile or more by exiting the General Crook Trail sooner, and by not taking Forest Road 76 all the way to the Promontory TH and then backtracking back to Promontory Butte.

We saw a couple of people on the Horton Creek Trail who were camping; other than that, we did not see anyone else all day.
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
2 archives
Mar 22 2018
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 60
 Routes 574
 Photos 8,093
 Triplogs 518

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Derrick - Horton LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 22 2018
DixieFlyer
Hiking13.30 Miles 3,200 AEG
Hiking13.30 Miles   7 Hrs   45 Mns   2.46 mph
3,200 ft AEG   2 Hrs   20 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
This hike began and ended at the Horton Creek TH. We did the Horton Creek Loop Counterclockwise by taking the Derrick Trail to the Highline Trail on to Horton Spring. At the Spring, we came back to the TH on the Horton Creek Trail. Along the way, we took a side trip up to Promontory Butte by going up and back down on the Promontory Trail. The Derrick, Highline, and Horton Creek Trails were all in good shape and were easy to follow. The Promontory Trail was a different story -- you won't see too many named trails worse than this one. Going up was much worse than going down, mainly because it was very difficult to follow the trail. I had to refer to my GPS numerous times to make sure that I was still on the trail. Even though the trail was steep, on the way down you could see in advance where the trail was, so you knew where you were going. It was nice once on top of the Rim. We went over to the survey marker and signed the log book, which was place there by Joe Bartels back in 2003. Next time I might just do the Horton Super Loop Plus instead of this hike, and do it clockwise to avoid having to go up the Promontory Trail. Of course, then you'd have to go up the Horton Creek Trail which isn't a piece of cake either.
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
1 archive
Jan 13 2018
The_N
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 Routes 54
 Photos 1,508
 Triplogs 325

35 male
 Joined Mar 18 2015
 Payson, AZ
Derrick-Prom-See-High-Horton, AZ 
Derrick-Prom-See-High-Horton, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 13 2018
The_N
Hiking24.63 Miles 4,944 AEG
Hiking24.63 Miles   7 Hrs   48 Mns   3.18 mph
4,944 ft AEG      4 Mns Break
 
Good little Rim Country leg stretcher. I figured hitting Promontory would increase my chances of seeing snow. Started up Derrick and onto Promontory. The climb up was over quicky. The trail is in great shape and easier than ever to follow. Thin layers of snow clung to the shade. There was some snow on top of the butte, not nearly as much as there should be. A mere inches of crunchy snow blanketed the forest floor. It was a desolate road walk across the butte. My 'winter wonderland' for the day. Tread was snow, ice and frozen earth. Avoid the ice and you're fine. The short walk on Rim Rd was the same. The upper reaches of See Cyn was a little winter-like. That ended quickly. Trail was dry, no mud. Midway down it turns to a fall scene. Passed a couple of dog walkers as I cruised on down to the TH to jump on Highline. Ate my lunch as I made my way over to Horton. It was sunny and warm now. The 30 degree starting temp turned to 60. Stopped at the spring to grab a little water before making my dash back to the TH. Passed a couple families out for a stroll. Fantastic weather for an outing in Rim Country. Saw a dozen elk and a few deer.
_____________________
If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
2 archives
Aug 14 2017
markthurman53
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 Guides 187
 Routes 741
 Photos 8,338
 Triplogs 567

68 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Promontory See Canyon Loop, AZ 
Promontory See Canyon Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 14 2017
markthurman53
Hiking16.60 Miles 2,938 AEG
Hiking16.60 Miles   8 Hrs   24 Mns   2.52 mph
2,938 ft AEG   1 Hour   48 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
The week dried out so it was a good opportunity to spend a couple of days in Payson. Arrived from Tucson early morning on the Rim road at Promontory Mesa and hiked the Promontory Trail down to the Highline and returned on the See Canyon Trail. Promontory Mesa is a leisurely 3 mile stroll to the head of the Promontory Trail. The road along the mesa still had water pooling from the rains of the previous days. Heading down the Promontory trail is definitely easier than heading up but it is far more dangerous. I took my time I didn't need any mishaps (didn't want to have "fall risk" added to my name) . The trail is easy to follow, only got off trail once at the Rock debris field about half way down. The trail stays above the rock slide area, I found this out after dropping too far down and trying to climb up to the trail. The attempt to climb up was quite a challenge because it seems the rocks were sliding down about as fast as I was trying to go up (obviously I was a little faster or I wouldn't be here now). This was the only incident on this trail. Quite a 3/4 mile trek. Once on the Highline trail it was smooth sailing or at least it seemed after the last 3/4 mile. Headed to Christopher Creek and the See Trail but before heading up I wanted to hike along the Highline Trail about half way to the Drew Trail to make tomorrows hike a little easier. I thought I would get the climbing part to the Drew Trail out of the way today but it turns out most of the climbing is on the second half of the Highline Trail. The See canyon Trail is very scenic and with all the rain the creek was running pretty good and the plants were thriving. The See canyon Trail is rated as one of the easier trails to get to the rim and the first two thirds are just that, a steady climb but not to bad. The last third I thought was strenuous, either because I was tired or it was all the false summits I came to. The bottom line is you have to ascend 1700 feet but luckily you have 3.5 mile to do it. All in all though it is a great trail with great scenery to keep you and your camera occupied. There are some really magnificent large Ponderosa Pine trees in this Canyon, these trees probably survived many fires over the years to get this big. Once on the rim it was a short 5 minute walk back to where I parked my vehicle.
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May 13 2017
JuanJaimeiii
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 Routes 571
 Photos 8,283
 Triplogs 1,824

54 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Derrick - Horton LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 13 2017
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking10.87 Miles 3,107 AEG
Hiking10.87 Miles   6 Hrs   26 Mns   1.76 mph
3,107 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
My friend Sheryl wanted to go do a hike so I took her to do the Horton Derrick Loop. Parking lot was full and there were tons of people out enjoying the trails and the perfect weather. We made our way to the spring and then started up the Derrick. The initial chug slowed her down a bit but she hung in there like a trooper.

Next thing you know we were at the junction with the Promontory Trail. I stopped and told her about how steep it was and much to my surprise she asked it I wanted to do it? I said sure and she said she could see in my eye that I wanted to. Anyway up we went. The trail is wiped out in several places from erosion but we managed to make it to the top without issue. Well almost without issue. At one point she looked at me and said I think I want to kill you right about now. :o :lol: Luckily she was kidding.

The rest of the trip was a breeze.
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Mar 19 2017
LindaAnn
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 Guides 65
 Routes 407
 Photos 4,533
 Triplogs 1,374

41 female
 Joined Dec 24 2007
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Derrick - Horton LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 19 2017
LindaAnn
Hiking13.29 Miles 3,589 AEG
Hiking13.29 Miles   6 Hrs   59 Mns   2.07 mph
3,589 ft AEG      34 Mns Break
 
Parked at the Horton parking area, then headed over to Derrick Trail. It was 48 degrees when I started, but I was cold for maybe 5 minutes. PLENTY of evidence of deer and elk on all the trails today except for Horton. I saw a couple of deer near the beginning of Derrick, then several elk a few minutes later. Derrick is in nice shape, but I don't care much for manzanita.

Headed up Promontory Trail. If you like ridiculously steep and slick, and getting swarmed by giant ants at every log you climb over, then this is the trail for you. I swear, this trail gets steeper every time I hike it. There are some downed trees, and the trail gets vague in places, but there are usually cairns when you need them. I've always been able to find my way pretty easily on this one, but a gps route may be helpful to someone on it for the first time. There was still some snow when I reached the Rim--yay! I headed over to Promontory Butte, had lunch there, then meandered back to Promontory Trail. Staying further in from the edge of the Rim seemed to have less downed trees, and I was enjoying walking through the snow. The descent down Promontory was nearly as slow as the ascent, and it had warmed up a lot by noon.

Back on Highline, it was an easy, pleasant walk to Horton, where I finally saw my first people of the day. Horton is flowing like crazy, and was quite enjoyable to see. I hung around the spring for a few minutes, taking pictures, then headed down the trail, taking several picture breaks along the way. The creek is flowing full force all the way to Tonto Creek. I finished up at 3:00 to a full parking lot and people waiting for my parking spot.
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Nov 23 2016
The_N
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 Routes 54
 Photos 1,508
 Triplogs 325

35 male
 Joined Mar 18 2015
 Payson, AZ
Derrick - Horton LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 23 2016
The_N
Hiking12.00 Miles 3,100 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles
3,100 ft AEG
 
Took a couple friends visiting from Florida out for a hike in Rim Country. They were in awe on the drive up from Phoenix alone. We went up Horton first and stopped at the spring for their first ever drink of wild water. East on Highline from there. Almost all the leaves are on the ground now, making trail conditions perfect. Wasn't planning on hitting Promontory but when I pointed it out they said 'why not?' so up we went. Fallen leaves and pine needles add to the loose rock, soil and general steepness but still fun. We definitely took a nice break up top and enjoyed the views. The sun was setting quickly. Hiked under the sunset once back on Highline. It got dark on us before we reached the Derrick TH and temps were in the high 30's upon reaching the vehicle. Saw no other hikers all day. Great day in Rim Country.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
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If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Nov 08 2016
survivordude
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 Routes 61
 Photos 975
 Triplogs 208

40 male
 Joined Aug 19 2009
 The Basin
Promontory Butte 7,914Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 08 2016
survivordude
Hiking13.00 Miles 3,005 AEG
Hiking13.00 Miles   5 Hrs   56 Mns   2.35 mph
3,005 ft AEG      24 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I had the itch for a week, and wanting to enjoy nature before the world blows up, I called out hookey today and made a beeline for the rim (get it?) Anyway, I left the basin at 4AM and got to the trailhead at 6:15. The goal is to go up Horton to Highline and then up the Promontory to get the Gila county highpoint and finish off down Derrick. It was still pretty dark so I couldn't see much of the creek and trees but this was perfect becuse the scenery just got better the further I went up and as the sun was rising. Most of the leaves were already off the trees but there was still enough to get my autumn fill. Made it to Horton Springs in an hour and ten minutes. The Highline had quite a bit of elevation gain as it rose a few hundred feet and then dropped a few hundred feet and then back up again. That was nothing compared to the Promontory trail.. The trail up was in pretty good shape just super steep. There were only a few spots where it was a little confusing but a quick spot of rock cairns got me through. Lots of deadfall to negotiate. There were also a few springs up high that made the ground very muddy and slippery up there. It was just relentless up up up. Baby steps.. Baby steps.. Made it to the top in 3 hours. Took the jaunt over the the highpoint and found a giant rock pile nearby but my gps was not agreeing so a little walk further and I found the official high point! Had lunch overlooking the greenness below when I felt something eerie behind me. I didn't see nor hear anything, just a weird feeling. As I made the way back to the trail down I spotted a fresh pile of scat. I don't know what it was from but it was big and a lot. Being all alone, my pace picked up a lil bit after that as I found the trail and made my way down the rim. Derrick trail was so different than Horton as it was all manzanita and shrubs and not shady at all until the last mile or so. Made it back to the Jeep in just over 2 hours. I didn't see another person the entire time out there which made this hike extra special. I was really looking forward to this trip and it was definitely worth it!


Three highpoints down, twelve to go..
Named place
Named place
Horton Spring
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
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2 archives
Nov 06 2016
flagscott
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 Guides 1
 Routes 1
 Triplogs 22

male
 Joined Jan 03 2016
 Flagstaff, AZ
Horton Promontory See Highline Derrick Loop, AZ 
Horton Promontory See Highline Derrick Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Nov 06 2016
flagscott
Backpack25.00 Miles
Backpack25.00 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
tl,dr: A fun, scenic, relatively easy overnighter in an area we'd never visited before.

The route, more or less: [ gps route ] (h/t to @fricknaley)

Longer report: We'd been wanting to see why so many people hike Horton Creek, so we decided to do an overnighter that incorporated the Derrick-Horton loop, Promontory Butte, and See Canyon. This was one of our more enjoyable backpacking trips in Arizona so far, and we managed to time it so that we only saw a few people.

We started up Horton Creek early on Sunday. There were a lot of people heading back out after camping, so we patted ourselves on the back for doing our trip on Sunday night instead of Saturday (hooray for flex work schedules). Horton Springs was great, and the water was delicious.

The Highline Trail over to Promontory was a steep, pointless rollercoaster. After reading previous triplogs, I was expecting the Promontory Trail to be a Level III Shitstorm. Wrong! It's just a steep trail and a bit overgrown in places. I would not want to hike down that trail, but even with 4 L of water apiece, we didn't have much trouble. Someone else's triplog said that you wouldn't want to backpack this trail. Meh, if you're fit and you're not carrying a 50-pound pack, it's fine. We loved the fantastic views from the Promontory trail whenever we stopped to catch our breath.

Once up top, we were dismayed to run into car campers immediately. But we wandered as far from the road as we could get and found a nice flat spot about 20 feet back from the Rim and with a fantastic viewpoint a stone's throw away. We watched the sun set over the Mazzies and settled in for a 40ish-degree night.

Monday morning, we were up before sunrise to get the road walk out of the way. We passed one hunter in an ATV--which was a little strange since deer and elk season ended the day before. Then it was down See Canyon, which we enjoyed except for a few unnecessarily steep sections of trail. I always enjoy the big Douglas firs and white pines you get in canyons along the Rim. The Highline Trail from the See Canyon TH to the Derrick Trail must have been new tread, because that is a fantastic and easy section of trail, very unlike other parts of the Highline we've done. Kudos to the FS and whoever realigned that section. The Derrick trail was nothing special, and soon enough we were back at the car.

This was a really enjoyable hike, we were thrilled to have two separate sources of great water to take from. We saw a bear along the rim (going straight down the cliffs, somehow), elk scat so big I thought it must be from a moose, and a lot of playful ravens along the rim. Good times.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Horton Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Great water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Nappa Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
We didn't actually go to this spring, but the creek was flowing no more than a half mile downcanyon from here.
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Oct 22 2016
joebartels
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 Guides 245
 Routes 837
 Photos 12,313
 Triplogs 4,964

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Highline - Promontory - See Spring Canyon Loop, AZ 
Highline - Promontory - See Spring Canyon Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 22 2016
joebartels
Hiking17.42 Miles 3,284 AEG
Hiking17.42 Miles   9 Hrs   14 Mns   2.09 mph
3,284 ft AEG      55 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Bruce created an olympic version in 2013 that included Drew and Horton Springs. His new lean cut version is more suitable for moderate hikers to complete in the available daylight hours.

Highline Trail #31 - west from trailhead
This 6 mile section of the Highline is pretty nice! Lots of pines, Sedonaesque and the trail is in excellent condition after recent maintenance.

Promontory Trail #278
The steep grade isn't for the timid. Too steep for backpackers unless hardcore. That said I enjoy this one. The views looking out are fab. There are plenty of pines to hug for a shady break. We enjoyed a couple five minute breaks heading up.

Promontory Butte 7,914
The rim is great for lunch views. Ours included bullets whizzing by from a nearby target shooter. This took away from the relaxation aspect. It was semi encouraging when he/she switched to a lower caliber.

See Spring Canyon
This ~2 mile offtrail segment is adventurous and enjoyable descending, ascending would be a task. Autumn foliage is peaking right now in the lower canyon, upper is past. It's never as good as "that one time".

We did not cross paths with another hiker all day.

youtube.com/watch?v ... u.be
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Substantial is for lower See Spring Canyon. Most of the hike is pines.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 See Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
running strong
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- joe
average hiking speed 2.43 mph
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