Backpack Horton Springs



9 miles

Elevation Gain

1600 ft

Route Type


Added by Sri Gangam

Horton Springs is one of the most spectacular hike in Arizona’s Rim Country. The hike includes a non-stop show of waterfalls, fields of wildflowers, wild berries and forests of maples.

This is a more scenic and bit more strenuous loop hike to the spring, taking in the Derrick Trail, part of the Highline Trail, and the Horton Creek Trail.After parking the cars near Upper Tonto Creek Campground follow the Derrick Trail and hike gently uphill for 1.4 miles through the rim country to the Highline Trail junction. Then follow the Highline Trail and this is a steep climb with lots of ups and downs, where the most of elevation gain. After hiking the Highline Trail for 2 miles a steep descent into the headwaters of Horton Creek. Here the trail turns right and begins a short half-mile climb to Horton Spring.

There are lot of campsites near the spring and once we setup our campsite we started exploring around the springs. After spending beautiful night, the next day we hiked out through the scenic Horton Creek Trail for 3.5 miles back to the trailhead. This trail runs parallel with Horton Creek all the way to the trailhead, passing many beautiful waterfalls along the way. You can go off-trail at some points to see as many of these waterfalls as possible.

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Family Friendly
Swimming Hole



Leave a Review

🥇Top Contributor

8 months ago

Great Fall Hike

I have done this as a day hike, never camped, however I think it would be a great place to spend the night. My favorite time of the year to do this trail in the fall when the leaves change color.

🥇Top Contributor

9 months ago

I love this hike!!

This hike is flat and easy, with beautiful views of Horton Creek. At the end, there's a small waterfall. Lots of wonderful spots to hitch up a hammock and relax next to the water. Finding the trailhead is a little challenging, as it's located directly across from the parking lot area (where the bathrooms are). Walk back over the little bridge, then up the hill. You'll see the trailhead sign at the top.

🥈 Contributor

over 3 years ago

Long Hike

The hike wasn't very strenuous, but it ended up taking a lot longer than I'd anticipated. We ran into an Arizona Black Rattlesnake on the trail as well! Next time, I'll probably just do the Horton Springs Trail instead of adding on the Derrick/Highline connection


🥇Top Contributor

over 4 years ago


Beautiful hike butbe ready to face the crowds, especially on weekends. The fresh spring gushes out if the rim face and is remarkable. You can also camp near this area amongst some large boulders.

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