Explore Mesa / 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.

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The trail itself to me was boring. And with the noise pollution of other park goers with kids, it's easy to be detracted. BUT, the horses. (sigh) And sometimes horses in the river playing around. There's just something about the horses that brings me back to this trail almost quarterly. Every time I go, I sit for a solid 30-60 minutes watching them. I typically always bring out-of-towners here if we have time, because the horses are so special and it's not a trail you need hiking or trail shoes for.
If you're not into wild horses, look for a trail elsewhere.
The horses are (unfortunately) people-friendly because idiots feed them. Last year, sadly, someone shot two of them. My point is that these horses are trusting and will come close to you. So please don't give them reason to fear by acting loudly around them; be respectful that you're in their habitat as only a visitor. And, PICK UP YOUR TRASH, this includes orange rinds and apple cores. Do not feed the horses!!
The parking lot is quite large, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding a spot.

hiking
4 days ago

Love, love, love this trail. It's a must-do, essential for any passionate hiker in the Phoenix vicinity. ...or any surfers. :) Everyone needs a pic of themselves "riding the wave" at some point to use as desktop wallpaper.
The hike itself is fairly easy, though the last part up to the cave is the most challenging, hence the "moderate" rating. But it's absolutely something you can do, because YOU HAVE TO! Your reward isn't just the view, but the cool air in the cave. It's remarkably cooler. Be sure to bring a lot of water if it's warm out because there's no shade along the way.

I used to hike this regularly years ago when I lived in Ahwatukee. I love this trail because it offers cardio, lovely views, and is challenging enough to make you feel like you hiked, rather than took a walk. It's fairly populated but not so on major holidays (i.e. Christmas Eve, Easter morning, Thanksgiving morning, the morning of Dec 31, etc.) That's when I hiked it most, for the solitude and lack of distraction. This is an out and back trail with the last part up to Telegraph Pass having the steepest grade. I don't necessarily recommend this to tourists who don't have proper hiking or trail shoes, because there is a lot of loose dirt and stones/pebbles. But if you have the proper shoes and lots of water, the view from the top of Telegraph Pass is lovely.

Great running trail. Plenty of moderate ups and downs to get good workout. I've been using this trail, among others in the area, for 35 years.

hiking
16 days ago

Great hike through the desert. Relatively close to the East valley. Well maintained and we'll traveled. Great views at the top.

Good hike with kids. As with all AZ hikes, bring water! There were bees at the summit when I was there so watch out. The "caves" aren't really caves. But its fun anyway.

Gotta love this Hike!
It starts out rather easy but about half way you do get a little bit of an incline through big rocks yet it's not crazy difficult to get up to the Cave.
On the day hiked it there was another family with about 6 kids ranging from 14 to maybe 7 years of age, so yeah, if kids can do so it, why cant you!?
Anyhow, the sights from the top are quite nice and definitely one cool cave to go see!

We only did part of the trail, wanted to see the sunset! I would like to come back to visit and walk the trail!

Fun trail! Not a moderate hike in my opinion, more on that easier side. There is a gate entry fee of $7.

I have to agree with some other posts. The hike is a great workout, I wouldn’t rate this difficult by any means unless you do it in the middle of summer. I did it for more of a workout and it’s great for that. But if you’re looking for scenery I’d go somewhere else. The top was full of people that drove up. Seemed like a bunch of local kids in the hut and they were smoking and cussing. Unfortunately my hike was ruined due my experience at the top, and not to mention when I came back down my window had been smashed in the parking lot. I won’t be returning to this hike.

hiking
28 days ago

Great Morning Hike! We beat the heat :) Good Times!!!

hiking
28 days ago

Amazing!!! Beautiful views and clean bathrooms!

Fun trail occasionally hard to find. Some great views of red Mountain and the salt River. There are many other trails and washes that intersect. This makes it easy to take a quick short cut back to the beginning. We cut about 2 miles off the main trail by doing this. We didn’t want to do the whole 7 miles. We did about five.

My 2nd time hiking and this is the trail my sister picks. I thought I was going to die. Had no idea the difficulty level until it was too late to turn back. I’d definitely do it again... but only when I’m in tip top shape.

Park for free by the bridge just before Granite Reef recreation site or roadside just after. Granite Reef requires a paid pass.

This is a great MTB trail. I was hiking and went off trail most of the time. I did a Little Rock hounding and found some nice quartz.

It’s straight up desert crossing, not featured, maintained hiking trails. I like that.

Decent views - started at 0615 finished at about 0855 as we stopped for lunch - I hike a lot in Arizona in the summer but the last mile was oppressively hot. At 108 my backpack thermometer read 120 in direct sun. I’d recommend not doing this one during July/Aug unless the high is below 105

Badly badly marked, maybe not at all, more just weaving little sandy trails. Half the time we dead-ended in the river or bushes. Very little shade on the trails that are accessible. Busy spot for the river, bbqs and little rc cars. The river was gorgeous and we saw a small herd of horses and a big bull across the water! Pretty wild flowers and trees too.

To the person who attempted to break into my car while I was on this hike - you are scum. You deserve the absolute worst and it’s people like you that the world doesn’t need. How awful are you. The fact that you couldn’t even break a window with a rock says a lot about the type of criminal you are. You deserve a spot in hell. For all of you who are planning to do this hike - please be aware there is someone out there attempting to break into your vehicle while you are out in your hike.

I think the only parking area is about a mile away from the trail. You have to get a permit at the Walgreens on the way in ($8). I skipped this trail.

Amazing trails biking with the wife

hiking
1 month ago

If you like rock scrambling, continue on past the wind cave! Very fun but definitely some climbing

Fantastic loops! Make your own distance by adding loops or subtracting...... good elevation not too much, good for trail running and bikes! This is a great easy go to trail system!

2 months ago

Hiked to the cave on April 30 2018 beautiful morning nice trail

This was a great Sunday morning trail! Not too hard but it provided a good workout. The view at Dobbins lookout is beautiful and has a different perspective of the city. I would rate this as moderate and would recommend doing it as early as possible as there is really no shade except at the lookout point.

great trail with a dog, nice hike

hiking
2 months ago

It was such a nice hike!! Not too difficult just towards the end there’s about a 3/4 a mile of just steep hiking and I’m in relatively good shape! Bring lots of water and go early it’s HOT out!!

hiking
2 months ago

The wind cave itself was an interesting feature but if you want to make the most of this hike then go past the cave and up to the summit. It does not take much longer and the views were amazing!! I don’t know why other people don’t do this.

Great with my dog for the 308 path

A fun little in town hike.

hiking
2 months ago

wonderful hike with beautiful views! we missed the gate to get to the cave so we got a little lost. could use better signage but otherwise a great hike :) we went in february and it was still moderately hot (at least compared to the subzero weather we were used to in north dakota) we forgot water and there is nowhere to get water there fyi. trail gets steep and challenging right before you reach the cave. the cave makes for a great spot to relax and cool down before heading back. amazing views from the cave!

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