Horton Creek Hiking
The wilderness wonderland of the Mogollon Rim doesn’t just occupy the top, but extends down to the base as well as proven by Horton Creek. About 7.5 miles in and out, this trail gently ascends all the way to the Creek’s fresh spring source and stays nice and cool for the entire hike.
You’ll hear the creek no matter where you are on the trail, even if it dips in and out of sight. The hike is near entirely shaded for the whole trek, as you’ll be walking under the cover of long-lived pines. Numerous rocks and fallen logs off the trail provide plenty of spots to stop and take a break if you need to, and Horton Creek’s many small waterfalls and pools also grant a place to dip your feet and enjoy the ice cold water. The creek’s temperature remains fairly consistent all the way to its source where freezing fresh water bubbles out of the ground. The water can be so cold at its source, in fact, that it’ll still preserve winter snow that’s long since melted in the rest of the area. Be sure to take your time enjoying the sights and water before you eventually make your walk downhill back to the car— or pack in a tent and find a place to pitch for the night.