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Horton Springs Backpack
Tonto National Forest
October 23-24, 2021
by Rodney Baba
Rod, Robbi, Angel and Diane bid farewell to civilization.

Four intrepid backpackers met early Saturday morning for the inaugural beginners’ backpack to Horton Springs and carpooled to the trailhead.

The parking lot was full, so we had to park in the Derrick trailhead parking, adding ¼ mile to the hike.

Rod reviewed hiking etiquette and safety protocols to ensure that everyone had a safe hike. Also assured the group to be vocal about photo opportunities and rest stops.

After a short descent to the creek bed, we came to a creek crossing. The crossing was shallow, so we splashed our way across and avoided the log bridge.


We began to climb up the side of the canyon heading toward the spring.


We arrived at our destination and found a campground. Then we ate lunch and set up camp.

Autumn color. [photo by Angel]
Rod and Angel. [photo by Angel]
Horton Spring. [photo by Angel]

Later that afternoon, we celebrated our trip and Rod began instructing the group on how to prepare dehydrated food.

Cocktail Hour.

Dinner was Beef Stroganoff, Chili Mac, Thai Chicken, Brown Rice and Beans. It was buffet style, so everyone was allowed to sample some of everything. Dessert was Apple crisp and Raspberry crumble although everyone was too full at that point. We saved dessert for breakfast the next day. After dinner the neighbors dropped in for a visit.


We sat around the campfire sipping coffee and telling stories. About an hour before sunset, we cleaned up camp and secured our food for the night. A very tired bunch retired for the evening.

We rose at dawn and watched the sunrise. Breakfast was left over apple crisp and breakfast burritos.

After cleaning and policing the camp, we packed up and reluctantly headed back to the trailhead. We stopped to bid farewell to the springs.


The return trip was as picturesque as the trek in with spectacular fall colors. Water cascading over the rocks providing a musical serenade as we hiked.


Everyone made it safely back to the trailhead.

→   More pictures, by Angel
→   More pictures, by You Tube Video
Robbi, Diane, Angel, Rod. [photo by Angel]
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated October 27, 2021