Explore Apache Junction-Tonto National Forest - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Apache Junction-Tonto National Forest Map
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I wanted so much to love this trail. It has water, great birds, horses, cool plants, and is pretty unique among places I've been in Arizona.

There was trash everywhere. I just wanted one spot on the hike where my partner and I could sit for 15 minutes overlooking the water without an empty beer can within 20 feet. Couldn't find one.

If Arizona cleans this area up, it becomes an easy 5 stars.

This is a great challenge. I do this hike every year in January or February.

This is my favorite hike in the valley. It is a good challenge and you can also backpack on top flatiron.

My first time hiking this trail...and LOVED it!! What I learned:
1) Trail is rocky, wear comfortable, supportive HIKING shoes, your feet will appreciate it. Take water shoes or sandals (Teva is my favorite) for when you’re ready to jump in the swimming holes
2) Have PLENTY of water to drink!! When you think you have enough, take some more. Other option is to fill your water bottle at the spring.
3) Watch our for critters...2 fellow hikers saw rattle snakes and 1 saw a tarantula...I got lucky and saw a deer.
4) The sun can be a bit brutal so make sure you have a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
5) Pace yourself on the way back up, take breaks in shady areas (when you can find one), the trail is exposed to the sun
6) Pack light snacks
7) DRINK WATER!!
8) Have fun!! Happy hiking!!

This trail is very nice and finished by a waterfall !! We took 3h to reach it. At the crossing roads between "Spring" and "Dam", the first one is a little bit longer and you have to cross the river just before the fall but the trail has more shadow and follow the river. Bring a lot of water (we have 3 liters per person), because the return climbs.

The first thing to figure out with this trail is if you want a big up or big down. If you go clockwise you will get the big up first. If you go counterclockwise you get the big down last thing before you get back to your car.

The rest of this trail is really gradual and most of it is very easy going. I was even thinking this could be one of the better trails for trail running out there.

The flora and fauna for much of the route is in within riparian areas and is incredibly diverse. More than all that, this trail is absolutely beautiful from start to finish. This would be perfect for someone who has been building up endurance for a longer hike, but doesn't need 2000'+ elevation gains.

Fantastic trail. Remember to stay night over in your sleeping bag

hiking
15 days ago

Silly Mtn is just across Hwy 60 from our RV Resort and every time we pass the parking lot we see many cars parked there. Finally my hiking group walked over from Canyon Vistas RV Resort and hiked the loop you see here, plus every "cross path" for a total of about 6 miles. The group marked it Easy to Moderate but there wasn't much in the easy category... but the scenery was a big surprise and I'm glad I did it!!!!!!!

Nice hike by the Superstitions. Enough of a challenge in 90 degrees weather. A couple of tricky spots crossing other trails so keep an eye on your map.

Decent views. Easy to access. A bit too close to the highway for my liking.

hiking
28 days ago

Awesome hike! First time out and it was challenging when you are closer to reaching the peak. For those who are on a weight loss journey, I am 300lbs and took a couple of breaks on the way up but was able to go up the Treasure Loop Trail and connect to Prospector’s View Trail which doubled the hike. If I can do it, YOU can do it too

Went 7/19/18- Left Phoenix at 6:30 am and arrived at 8:30. Perfect weather to get started! The walk down was a breeze, but we accidentally didn’t follow the fossil springs trail at the bottom (rookie mistake) so we added on an extra mile. Once we got on track we made it to the waterfall by following the sign for trails/the dam. Had the place all to ourselves! The water was cold but refreshing and crystal clear. We packed a sandwich to split, apples, and protein bars which we munched on in the 1.5 hours we stayed.
Now the hike up was no joke. Saving graces- Brought a hand towel to wipe our feet off before putting shoes back on and I soaked it in the water and it kept cold on my neck the whole walk. Found perfect walking sticks and I’m not sure I would have made it back without it to push me up. Refilled any and all water bottles in the spring.
It was 82 degrees climbing out, took us exactly two hours with stopping probably 20 times, and we went through 3 liters each of water the whole day. I’m not going to lie- definitely not for beginners, especially not in the heat! My boyfriend and I are both in decent shape and we each had our “I can’t go on” moments!

hiking
1 month ago

I did this hike yesterday (late March) before the permit system went into effect. Gorgeous hike, but the way back up was pretty grueling but probably because I’d just moved from sea-level Maryland. Don’t skimp on the water— I drank over 3 liters when it was ~78 degrees and sunny. Glad they’re implementing a permit system— this area is gorgeous and is definitely showing signs of overuse.

This hike is absolutely beautiful! You really get to experience a little bit of everything this desert has to offer. The views are fantastic and the hike easy, so even with the 100+ degree temperatures it was pleasant. Tips- Pack lots of water, be mindful of snakes!

I love this hike. I try to do it once a week. Just hiked Saturday, June 30 and again today July 4. I’ll be hitting it again on Saturday morning. I love getting there before sunrise and then back off by 9.

Beautiful and kids friendly

Such an amazing hike! Most definitely the hardest hike I’ve done so close to Phoenix. Watch for the spray painted blue and white dots on the rocks when you’re going up or down, or else you WILL lose your way! Having this app running while your hiking can lead you back on track, certainly helped me! It’s a bit challenging since you are literally climbing vertical rocks at some points on the trail. The views are soooooo worth it at the top!! I suggest going early in the morning, as the whole way up you’re in shade (thank goodness!) and all the way down, you have the sun on your back so be sure to use sunscreen! Got a bit burnt on the way down.

Great for a nice walk, a number of different trails and good views.

Awesome scenery and wildlife. saw a pair of rabbits, multiple road runners, hummingbirds and Gila monsters. Only downside was poor trail marking. Look for faded arrows, faint blue blazes, but mostly little white marks the size of a quarter that look like bird poop!

Definitely start early and bring plenty of water. We started at 630 and were able to hike in the shade most of the way up. we took 4.5 liters a piece and drank close to 4

fantastic hike.

Extremely difficult trail, but well worth it! Took 4L of water and wished I had more. Make sure to keep left on the ascent. It's easy to get off trail and if you do, the dirt is very lose and it requires climbing a 15-20 foot boulder at the top.

on Butcher Jones Trail

hiking
2 months ago

One of the most surreal moments of the trip was to arrive at the trailhead (sunrise) to witness the beauty of the Salt River wild horses. Amazing. The hike is beautiful with incredible views. Be cautious as the trail is quite narrow and steep at times. The narrow part can create an issue with rattle snake encounters... as we experienced on this hike. We expect to run into all sorts of wildlife during these hikes but did get ourselves into a pickle on the trail. Our issue was upon our return to the trailhead where we encountered a coiled rattler in a covered brush area near the shore. It’s beautiful in this small patch of area but you only have one way to pass through. There is no where to climb up or around in certain areas so if your trail is blocked, it may pose additional impediments. Just be cautious and aware of your surroundings on this trail. I suggest a walking stick of sorts.

hiking
2 months ago

4 stars mostly for sentimental value. Some nice views of the Superstitions and one confusing part where the trail follows a less than obvious route.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike down, and even more wonderful below. Watch out for poison oak my friends!

First off let me just say - super rewarding hike. Really hard but definitely gives you a sense of accomplishment. The views at the top are awesome.

The bad?
- It is annoying to pay $7 to get in and then have the trail so poorly marked.


The advice?
- This trail is camelback/echo x5 in difficulty. It is super challenging and super steep. It is great but very difficult. My hike registered at a little over 8 miles on my Apple Watch.

- Once you make it to the top of the first scrambling ridge - don’t go to the right. You’ve gotta stay to the left. I did this wrong and really really paid for it. On the way down I got on the correct trail and it was substantially easier.

- The entire hike is very rocky. From scrambling to minor climbing the majority of the hike is uphill rock. Don’t wear trail runners - get something with ankle support.

- I’d really strongly recommend doing the hike early in the AM before the sun comes up. I started at 6:30 and if I had it to do over I’d go earlier.

Fun short trail. Not difficult at all.

It's a difficult one. prepare for 4 hours of hiking time. beautiful view from the top. kinda like rock climbing

I liked it, but got a bit turned around towards the end. I think I kept going past the end of it by a few miles. Lots of nice rock formations to view.

hiking
2 months ago

Decent tour of the park if you only want to pay the discounted entry fee.

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