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Derrick Trail #33 - 21 members in 77 triplogs have rated this an average 3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Aug 15 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 125
 Triplogs 123

25 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 GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
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
Aug 04 2019
trekkin_gecko
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 342
 Photos 4,099
 Triplogs 2,605

61 female
 Joined Nov 17 2008
 phoenix, az
Derrick - Horton LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 04 2019
trekkin_gecko
Hiking9.25 Miles 1,950 AEG
Hiking9.25 Miles   3 Hrs   20 Mns   2.80 mph
1,950 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
johnlp
i've done horton creek a few times, but never the derrick - horton loop
john kindly agreed to hike it this morning
left town at 0400 and were hiking by 0600
low 60s and cloud cover to start
recent rain made for damp trails and vegetation
easy grade through pine forest on derrick
some ups and down on highline
derrick and most of the highline section were new to me
last time on horton was seven years ago ( :o ) with @cactuscat
wandered around the spring for a few minutes taking photos
stopped at a few scenic creek spots on the way down
saw a couple dozen other hikers after not seeing anyone else until the spring
found my car door hanging open; guess we left it like that :lol: nothing missing, fortunately
enjoyed the loop
nice to get out of phoenix for a hike in the pines with good company :)
had breakfast at the 260 café in payson since we finished too early for the thai restaurant to be open
good times - thanks, john!
using the official stats for now
my track was short and john's was long on mileage

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Horton Creek Medium flow Medium flow
seemed like the regular flow from what i remember

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
good flow
_____________________
Aug 04 2019
johnlp
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 9
 Photos 4,169
 Triplogs 3,237

62 male
 Joined Mar 16 2008
 chandler,az
Derrick - Horton LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 04 2019
johnlp
Hiking9.25 Miles 1,950 AEG
Hiking9.25 Miles   3 Hrs   20 Mns   2.80 mph
1,950 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 no routes
Partners partners
trekkin_gecko
Anything JJ can do I can do slower! Nice cool morning. 63 at the trail head and got a little cooler as we first ascended Derrick. Saw very few people until the last couple miles. It pays to get an early start. This hike is growing on me. Always good to hike with the gecko! :)
Named place
Named place
Horton Spring
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
“Good people drink good beer.” Hunter S Thompson
Apr 28 2019
MEWhiteman
avatar

 Guides 40
 Routes 91
 Photos 790
 Triplogs 351

75 male
 Joined Dec 24 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Highline Trail #31Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 28 2019
MEWhiteman
Hiking7.90 Miles 861 AEG
Hiking7.90 Miles
861 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked linked
Partners partners
hiazny10
Hiked from the See Canyon TH on the Highline Trail to the Derrick Trail, then down it to the Horton Creek TH. This added another segment of the Highline for me. We hiked the segments before and after this over the past month. This was a nice section with some nice views. We had an early dinner at the Creekside Steakhouse and Tavern in Cristopher Creek after retrieving one of our trucks and spent the night at the Upper Tonto Creek Campground at the Horton Creek TH.
_____________________
Apr 08 2019
MEWhiteman
avatar

 Guides 40
 Routes 91
 Photos 790
 Triplogs 351

75 male
 Joined Dec 24 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Derrick - Horton LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 08 2019
MEWhiteman
Hiking10.00 Miles 1,911 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   4 Hrs   35 Mns   2.18 mph
1,911 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
hiazny10
This was a very enjoyable hike. We did it in the counter clockwise direction as in the description. It was a slow and steady climb to the Highline. It got somewhat rocky at about the 2.5 mile mark of the Derrick and the first .5 mile of the Highline. The Highline was great. Lots of shade and only a few climbs. I never saw any maples or oaks though. When we reached Horton Creek we headed down the trail. I noticed a trail off to the right but just thought it was a continuation of the Highline. It also lead to the spring which we completely missed. I guess I should pay more attention to the description and gps waypoints. The Horton Creek trail back to the trailhead was very easy hiking; wide, smooth and downhill.

I feel good about this hike. Since my foot problems effectively sidelined me for two years, I hadn’t done longer hikes with significant (for me) elevation gain. I’ve been gradually doing more challenging hikes and going further afield which I enjoy; well not the uphill so much. We’ve already planned next weeks hike.
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Aug 19 2018
JuanJaimeiii
avatar

 Routes 562
 Photos 7,617
 Triplogs 1,598

52 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
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1 archive
Apr 29 2018
Frostshocknoob
avatar

 Routes 141
 Triplogs 127

30 male
 Joined Sep 05 2014
 Phoenix, AZ
Derrick - Horton LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 29 2018
Frostshocknoob
Hiking9.09 Miles 1,900 AEG
Hiking9.09 Miles   3 Hrs   55 Mns   2.57 mph
1,900 ft AEG      23 Mns Break
 
no photosets
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Apr 15 2018
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 15
 Routes 202
 Photos 2,475
 Triplogs 189

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.
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2 archives
Apr 04 2018
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 15
 Routes 202
 Photos 2,475
 Triplogs 189

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.
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2 archives
Mar 22 2018
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 15
 Routes 202
 Photos 2,475
 Triplogs 189

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.
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1 archive
Jan 13 2018
The_N
avatar

 Routes 54
 Photos 1,508
 Triplogs 325

33 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
Oct 12 2017
RowdyandMe
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 358
 Photos 14,460
 Triplogs 1,629

65 male
 Joined Jul 16 2012
 Deer Valley, AZ
Derrick - Horton LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 12 2017
RowdyandMe
Hiking10.09 Miles 2,105 AEG
Hiking10.09 Miles   5 Hrs   9 Mns   2.19 mph
2,105 ft AEG      32 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Rowdy truly needed this hike and I am glad to have him back :y:

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Big Canyon Medium flow Medium flow

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 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 less than maxwater less than max Horton Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
_____________________
Rowdy and Widowmaker
1 archive
Aug 12 2017
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 213
 Routes 824
 Photos 10,880
 Triplogs 4,281

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Derrick - Highline to 6450 Saddle - Horton, AZ 
Derrick - Highline to 6450 Saddle - Horton, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2017
joebartels
Hiking12.91 Miles 2,547 AEG
Hiking12.91 Miles   6 Hrs   47 Mns   2.41 mph
2,547 ft AEG   1 Hour   26 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
The_Eagle
Tortoise_Hiker
Itching to get out on longer hikes after easing back into hiking. Wanted a good trail with pine shade. [ Derrick Trail - Horton Loop ] almost fit the bill but I wanted over 10 and under 14 miles. Added 1.7 miles west on the [ Highline Trail #31 ] to a saddle that looked like a good turn around point.

@The_Eagle says we've hiked Derrick a couple times. Possibly, I just have one 2012 triplog and this route felt cleaner but maybe I missed a triplog cause he's rarely incorrect, to the point I bang my head at times while he gloats...lol
Derrick is a steady climb to #31.

Denny said there were two healthy ascents over to Horton, believe he nailed it. A rare sight at the Springs, very few people.

We continued over on #31 to my planned turnaround at a saddle near 6,450 ft. This turned out to be more of a winner than just upping the distance as planned. Which netted a dense pine forest feel along with a few nice distant views. When I'm confident in more aeg I'd opt for ascending the rim in a heartbeat This worked well for getting back into the groove.

The hike was a tad tiring, overall just the right progression. Forecast was 50% chance of rain and we got sun on the majority of the ascent. While it was toastier than anticipated I'll take heat over the deluge we experienced driving home. The guys were great as usual allowing me to take a record amount of breaks.

We hiked the entire 800+ mi AZT a few years ago. They had this running joke that every gate we encountered Bruce would open and I would run through leaving Denny to close. Total nonsense and they kept it rolling today saying don't worry we got the gates today... we didn't encounter any closed gates... ha!

Huge thx guys, this hike was perfect with just enough challenge to keep stepping it back up to old times!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Richard's Geranium, Brown Eyed Susan's & Mushroom Galore!
_____________________
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!
Aug 12 2017
Tortoise_Hiker
avatar

 Routes 78
 Photos 7,201
 Triplogs 2,562

58 male
 Joined Apr 02 2005
 Mesa, AZ
Derrick - Highline to 6450 Saddle - Horton, AZ 
Derrick - Highline to 6450 Saddle - Horton, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2017
Tortoise_Hiker
Hiking12.91 Miles 2,547 AEG
Hiking12.91 Miles   6 Hrs   47 Mns   2.41 mph
2,547 ft AEG   1 Hour   26 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
joebartels
The_Eagle
It's been a couple months since I hiked with these two together. The banter picked up right where it left off without missing a beat. Always enjoyable hiking with these two. Joe picked a good one and the trail was in great shape. Cloud or tree cover at least half the hike. A tad warm when in direct sunlight but still enjoyable. It rained on the way up and home but the hike was all dry :D . Thanks gentlemen, good times! :y:
Named place
Named place
Horton Spring
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Mushroom season. Yeah.
_____________________
Tortoise Hiking. Stop and smell the Petrichor.
Aug 12 2017
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 792
 Photos 9,159
 Triplogs 1,080

63 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Derrick-Horton and a little High, AZ 
Derrick-Horton and a little High, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2017
The_Eagle
Hiking13.96 Miles 2,624 AEG
Hiking13.96 Miles   6 Hrs   51 Mns   2.58 mph
2,624 ft AEG   1 Hour   26 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
joebartels
Tortoise_Hiker
Look out, Moe, Larry and Curly are on the trail again.

Get out of the desert, add a trail in the trees, add some miles, add some elevation were the next step.
Keep the sweat to a minimum and the rain off the recovery devices were secondary goals.

This was a pretty good choice. The trails were in good shape for the most part, with just a couple of slippery down sections on the Highline.

All in all, it worked out. Joe did great and Denny behaved. He was actually a good sport. Joe still needs help with some aspects of his hiking equipment. Denny was more of a trouper than I could be. Mexican food and all. :o :lol:

Let the hiking begin..
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated


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
If this dries up, we're in trouble.
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
May 11 2017
amy1300
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 39
 Triplogs 27

female
 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Phoenix. AZ
Derrick - Horton LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 11 2017
amy1300
Hiking8.80 Miles 2,130 AEG
Hiking8.80 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   1.70 mph
2,130 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I had not been to Mogollon Rim country in maybe 20 years, so a big Thank You to the person who made note of the fact that there's now a special Trailhead (with parking and a toilet) for the Derrick Trail. This trailhead is on the left as you drive N on FR289, before you get to the bridge across Tonto Creek or the Upper Tonto campground. You can't see the Horton Creek Trailhead from this parking lot, because there's a bit of a rise in the road, but it only took me about 5 minutes to walk back to the Derrick TH along FR289, at the end of my hike. I did this loop in the counter-clockwise direction, with Derrick Trail first.

The official Forest Service trail signs are in good condition along this loop, and they give somewhat longer distances than those in the main HAZ description, even if you leave off the detour up to Horton Spring. (Maybe the FS likes to round mileages up, thinking to help people avoid biting off more than they can chew?) According to the FS signs, it's 3 miles from Derrick TH to jcn with the Highline Trail, 2.5 miles along Highline to jcn with Horton Creek Trail, and 4 miles from jcn of Highline & Horton Creek Trails to the Horton Creek Trailhead and FR 289, for a 9.5-mile total. (Plus another 1/10 mile along the paved road, to get back to Derrick TH.)

The Derrick seemed less road-like now, than it was 20 or so years ago. I could be mis-remembering it, but I think some re-routing has occurred. It's still easy to follow, though. There are a few areas of the trail covered with pine needles, but there are some (imo, unnecessary) cairns along the way to help you out, and the trail pretty much stays on top of a ridge heading up to the Highline. You can also watch for some signs of human trail-maintenance activity -- i.e., trees that have had branches that were growing across the trail cut off, a few inches out from the trunks of the trees.

This section of the Highline is also easy to follow. It's blazed infrequently, with stiff plastic markers nailed to tree trunks (usually of dead trees). The markers are white and either diamond-shaped or a modified square with a diamond image on it. But the trail would be easy enough to follow without the blazes, imo. There were quite a few elk tracks on the Highline when I was there -- it had rained 2 days before so there was plenty of mud for them to stroll through, though it had dried by the time I was there.

At the junction of the Highline and Horton Creek Trails there is a bridge to help you cross Horton Creek. (The map shows a crossing of an "East Fork of Horton Creek" before this, but I never saw that, so it must have been dry. The map I'm referring to is Trails Illustrated #852 copyright 2016.) The bridge across Horton Creek is a tree trunk, sawed in half and then laid open like a book, to give you a nice flat surface, easy to walk on. There is a good campsite along the Highline Trail, just before this junction, and it took me about 6 minutes to walk down to the bridge from there. It's not out of sight from the trail, but still I'd use it rather than camp near the trail junction, because the area around the junction had so many flies it was unpleasant to stop there for lunch! And a definite odor of horse dung, which may partly explain the flies.

From the end of the bridge you make a left turn to head back toward the road on Horton Creek Trail. After a very short, level walk there's a fork with a small trail on the left that stays right next to the creek, and a more obvious trail to its right. I took the left one, thinking that was the Horton Creek Trail and the other was the Highline continuing on. That was not right - the smaller trail is just a use trail that leads you downhill to several campsites that are downstream a little way from the bridge. I had to backtrack to pick up the right fork trail, which is actually the Horton Creek and Highline Trails running along together for a little way, until a second fork where there's a trail sign. Horton Creek Trail is easy to follow from there, and downhill almost the whole way back to the road. There are several use trails leading from the Horton Creek Trail to the creek, itself, either to play spots or campsites along the way.

I only saw one other person on the Highline section I hiked, and no one on the Derrick Trail. There were several other hikers on the Horton Creek Trail, which is very popular, so I didn't expect solitude, even on a weekday in May. The Ponderosa Pines smelled heavenly, and this is a very nice loop hike.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Lots of blue flowers that look like lupines, though growing in semi-shaded conditions. Also little golden yellow daisy-shaped blooms, and others that are white petals with golden centers. After the first 2 miles on Derrick #33 there were many big manzanitas with their pink, bell-shaped blooms, on both sides of trail. On Derrick, within a mile of the jcn with Horton Creek Trail, there were also wild strawberries in bloom -- too bad it's too early for berries! Around the jcn of Derrick and Horton Creek Trails there were some under-story trees with white blooms that remind me of dogwoods, except that they have 5 petals (whereas dogwoods have only 4).
_____________________
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D
5 archives
Mar 19 2017
LindaAnn
avatar

 Guides 22
 Routes 359
 Photos 2,325
 Triplogs 949

39 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

33 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 59
 Photos 779
 Triplogs 139

38 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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average hiking speed 2.44 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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