Derrick Trail #33
Trailhead: Horton Creek
Length: 5 miles roundtrip
Managing Agency: Tonto National Forest
Journal: "The Highline Trail"
Directions to Trailhead:
Take SR 87 north to Payson. In Payson, turn right (east) on SR 260. Continue east until your reach FR 289 -- the turn off for the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery. Turn left. Continue north for 2 miles. Parking is available at the Horton Creek Picnic Site, at the bridge on the right. The trailhead is located behind the Upper Tonto Creek Campground, on the left.
The Derrick Trail #33 is a rocky, rugged, and, at times, indistinct trail that connects to the Highline Trail #31. The trail begins at the campground and begins to switchback uphill for the first two hundred feet. Then, it flattens out as it meanders through ponderosa pines. As you approach the junction for the Highline Trail, the trail becomes more exposed. Watch for cairns to help you find the trail; there are times that the trail is so rocky that it is difficult to follow.
Return the way you came, or you can continue along the Highline Trail to the Horton Creek Trail and complete an eight mile loop.
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