Arizona Hiking Gallery
Horton Creek Loop Hike
Tonto National Forest, AZ
September 11, 2005
Gallery contains 72 photos
Gallery last updated: 9/24/2005
The "puzzle piece" bark of Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa).
A view of the Derrick Trail shortly after its start from the Upper Tonto Creek Campground.
Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja sp.).
Broom Snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae).
A closeup of Wheeler Thistle (Cirsium wheeleri).
Sweet Scent (Hedeoma hyssopifolium).
The Derrick Trail (trail 33) will take me to the Highline Trail, as the sign says, in 2 miles.
Looking north from the Derrick Trail over the forest to the Mogollon Rim.
Indian Paintbrush next to a fallen ponderosa pine.
As the Derrick Trail climbs through the forest Alligator Junipers (Juniperus deppeana) join the Ponderosa Pines.
Parts of the Derrick Trail become quite rocky.
I love the red and grey of these old Manzanitas.
Closeup of Manzanita trunk.
Just as on the trail to Fossil Creek, some critters leave their calling cards on rocks in the middle of the trail.
Bark of an old Alligator Juniper.
A wonderful old Alligator Juniper towering above manzanita on the Derrick Trail.
It's shedding time for this grand old manzanita.
Thin shavings of Manzanita bark curl away from the trunk.
Looking easterly toward Promotory Butte from the rocky Derrick Trail as it nears the intersection with the Highline Trail.
An oak gall forms a perfect sphere. The gall provides protection and food to a developing insect larva, usually a wasp.
Parry's Agave (Agave parryi) can be found on the drier open slopes of the forest floor.
Looking southwest from the upper portion of the Derrick Trail. Forests and mountains as far as the eye (or camera) can see.
A view of the west face Promontory Butte from the Highline Trail. The butte is a huge "peninsula" that juts out from the Mogollon Rim.
The trail eventually contours around the ridge in the foreground.
I followed this Greater Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi) around for a few minutes as he hopped around from rock to log.
Greater Short-horned Lizard.
Greater Short-horned Lizard.
Greater Short-horned Lizard. Hello there!
Needles of a Ponderosa Pine.
Butterflies were everywhere, especially near the creek. This one is a Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).
A view overlooking the forest. The scar in the forest is Highway 260.
Goldeneye (Viguiera longifolia) adds a brilliant splash of yellow to a forest clearing.
Plenty of shade on the Highline Trail as it meanders under a thick forest canopy.
Wild Geranium (Geranium caespitosum) with Goldenrod in the background.
Western Dayflower (Commelina dianthifolia).
Mexican Silene (Silene laciniata).
The bright red-orange of the Mexican Silene stands out in a field of Aspen Fleabane (Erigeron macranthus).
Canada Violet (Viola canadensis).
The Highline Trail crosses the dry East Fork of Horton Creek.
Apache Spiketail (Cordulegaster diadema) dragonfly with its giant blue eyes and black and yellow striped body is quite a colorful critter.
Common Buckeye butterfly (Junonia coenia).
Looking north from the Highline Trail toward the Mogollon Rim. From this point the trail starts its final descent down to Horton Creek.
Water cascades over a log in Horton Creek at the Highline Trail crossing. Here Watercress thrives in the cool spring-fed creek.
Yellow Columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha) can be found growing in the shady and moist areas around Horton Creek.
Horton Creek at the Highline Trail crossing.
Horton Creek looking downstream at the crossing.
Not far upstream from the Horton Creek crossing is Horton Spring - where water comes gushing out of the face of a cliff and Horton Creek is born.
Here I leave the Highline Trail and head southwest down the Horton Creek Trail. It's four miles back to the campground.
The upper portion of Horton Creek Trail starts out quite rocky.
A view up to the Mogollon Rim.
Horton Creek Trail meandering through the ponderosa forest.
A series of small cascades in Horton Creek.
Horton Creek flowing over a ledge in the shady forest.
A view of Horton Creek looking downstream.
California Sister (Adelpha bredowii) butterfly.
The lower section of Horton Creek Trail.
Horton Creek Trail passing through a meadow...
...Then back into to the forest.
A long ago fallen tree lays along the side of Horton Creek Trail.
Back at the trailhead at the Upper Tonto Creek Campground.
All images Copyright ©2005 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.