Arizona Hiking Gallery
Horton Creek Loop Hike
Tonto National Forest, AZ
September 11, 2005
Gallery contains 72 photos
Gallery last updated: 9/24/2005
Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 1
The "puzzle piece" bark of Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa).

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 2
A view of the Derrick Trail shortly after its start from the Upper Tonto Creek Campground.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 3
Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja sp.).

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 4
Broom Snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae).

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 5
A closeup of Wheeler Thistle (Cirsium wheeleri).

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 6
Wheeler Thistle

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 7
Sweet Scent (Hedeoma hyssopifolium).

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 8
Sweet Scent.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 9
The Derrick Trail (trail 33) will take me to the Highline Trail, as the sign says, in 2 miles.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 10
Looking north from the Derrick Trail over the forest to the Mogollon Rim.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 11
Indian Paintbrush next to a fallen ponderosa pine.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 12
Anybody home?

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 13
As the Derrick Trail climbs through the forest Alligator Junipers (Juniperus deppeana) join the Ponderosa Pines.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 14
Parts of the Derrick Trail become quite rocky.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 15
I love the red and grey of these old Manzanitas.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 16
Closeup of Manzanita trunk.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 17
Just as on the trail to Fossil Creek, some critters leave their calling cards on rocks in the middle of the trail.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 18
Bark of an old Alligator Juniper.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 19
A wonderful old Alligator Juniper towering above manzanita on the Derrick Trail.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 20
Barbed wire.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 21
It's shedding time for this grand old manzanita.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 22
Thin shavings of Manzanita bark curl away from the trunk.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 23
Looking easterly toward Promotory Butte from the rocky Derrick Trail as it nears the intersection with the Highline Trail.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 24
An oak gall forms a perfect sphere. The gall provides protection and food to a developing insect larva, usually a wasp.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 25
Parry's Agave (Agave parryi) can be found on the drier open slopes of the forest floor.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 26
Looking southwest from the upper portion of the Derrick Trail. Forests and mountains as far as the eye (or camera) can see.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 27
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.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 28
The trail eventually contours around the ridge in the foreground.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 29
I followed this Greater Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi) around for a few minutes as he hopped around from rock to log.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 30
Greater Short-horned Lizard.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 31
Greater Short-horned Lizard.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 32
Greater Short-horned Lizard. Hello there!

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 33
Needles of a Ponderosa Pine.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 34
Butterflies were everywhere, especially near the creek. This one is a Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 35
A view overlooking the forest. The scar in the forest is Highway 260.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 36
Goldeneye (Viguiera longifolia) adds a brilliant splash of yellow to a forest clearing.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 37
Plenty of shade on the Highline Trail as it meanders under a thick forest canopy.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 38
Highline Trail.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 39
Wild Geranium (Geranium caespitosum) with Goldenrod in the background.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 40
Goldenrod (Solidago sp.)

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 41
Western Dayflower (Commelina dianthifolia).

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 42
Mexican Silene (Silene laciniata).

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 43
The bright red-orange of the Mexican Silene stands out in a field of Aspen Fleabane (Erigeron macranthus).

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 44
Canada Violet (Viola canadensis).

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 45
Highline Trail

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 46
The Highline Trail crosses the dry East Fork of Horton Creek.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 47
Apache Spiketail (Cordulegaster diadema) dragonfly with its giant blue eyes and black and yellow striped body is quite a colorful critter.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 48
Common Buckeye butterfly (Junonia coenia).

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 49
Looking north from the Highline Trail toward the Mogollon Rim. From this point the trail starts its final descent down to Horton Creek.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 50
Water cascades over a log in Horton Creek at the Highline Trail crossing. Here Watercress thrives in the cool spring-fed creek.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 51
Yellow Columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha) can be found growing in the shady and moist areas around Horton Creek.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 52
Horton Creek at the Highline Trail crossing.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 53
Horton Creek looking downstream at the crossing.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 54
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.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 55
Here I leave the Highline Trail and head southwest down the Horton Creek Trail. It's four miles back to the campground.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 56
The upper portion of Horton Creek Trail starts out quite rocky.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 57
A view up to the Mogollon Rim.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 58
Horton Creek Trail meandering through the ponderosa forest.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 59
A series of small cascades in Horton Creek.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 60
Horton Creek.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 61
Horton Creek.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 62
Horton Creek.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 63
Horton Creek flowing over a ledge in the shady forest.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 64
A view of Horton Creek looking downstream.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 65
California Sister (Adelpha bredowii) butterfly.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 66
California Sister.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 67
California Sister.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 68
The lower section of Horton Creek Trail.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 69
Horton Creek Trail passing through a meadow...

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 70
...Then back into to the forest.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 71
A long ago fallen tree lays along the side of Horton Creek Trail.

Horton Creek Loop Hike: Image 72
Back at the trailhead at the Upper Tonto Creek Campground.

All images Copyright ©2005 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.