The Horton River drains most of the northern slopes of the Nandewar Range. The headwaters of the river are located north of the town of Barraba (but on the northern slopes of the range, whereas Barraba is on the southern side ). The branches of the Horton River flow generally north, and eventually reach the Gwydir River between the towns of Bingara and Gravesend .
The valley of the Horton River is used for grazing and some cropping. It is a sparsely populated area with no significant towns. There is a small village called Upper Horton. The valley is traversed by the Narrabri-Bingara Road. Other nearby towns, outside the valley, are Barraba, Bingara, and Narrabri.