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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.

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

One of my favorites!
2 things you need to know.
1- it's rough driving to get there, but the road from Roosevelt lake is much smoother and shorter than the one closer to Phoenix. you need clearance, 4 wd isn't necessary but helpful
2- the last run is very steep and dangerous, careless hikers above you may drop rocks and people die from falls. but it's very very doable. just be aware.

additionally, I know I would get grief for this, but I hike off trail to get down. on your decent, before you get to the steep drop, I turn down toward the parking lot. it's loose dirt in some areas and I would guess if there's leaves on the trees you might lose your bearings. but it was an excellent decision for us as we were running out of sunlight, we beat others down while had left the summit 30 minutes before us.

Beautiful and kids friendly

I’m an experienced hiker and this trail was pretty tough at some parts but the views are worth it. We went yesterday, make sure you brings plenty of water and snacks! Lots of loose rocks and cacti. I got poked a few times. I would not recommend this hike to people who aren’t in good shape or do not hike often.

couldn't find where to park. help =)

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!

Hiked it during the day and then again 6 hours later to catch the eclipse a few months ago. If you get towards the top late in the day to see the sun start to set the view is best around Phoenix IMO

I've gone twice in the last week. Each time I arrive in the cave I am swarmed by a few bees within minutes that won't leave me or my pack alone. I love this trail and cave, but the bees are very annoying when trying to cool off in the cave. I more or less waited for them to get off my bag so i could grab it and head back down! Good luck everyone!

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
1 month ago

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

The 1st 0.6 miles are moderately trafficked & hikers have to frequently get off the narrow trail for bicycles speeding through. After the fork in the road we went right (technically off the trail) and it was still a well-worn path, but we only saw 1 person in 3 miles. Tons of cactus, birds, lizards & nature to enjoy! We’ll go again for sure.

First off, Parking is free so no need for that Tonto pass. The trail is mostly on rocks, put on your hiking shoes. I'm not clumsy, but found myself almost slipping and falling on loose rocks when coming down. I highly recommend starting earlier than 8am to avoid being to hot. It feels so nice and cool at the cave, I didn't want to go down and experience the 20 degree increase in temperature. Me and my puppy both found the cave dark and scary to walk in. Next time I won't go alone so I can further explore the cave.

hiking
1 month ago

The miles are definitely miscalculated and the trail map available at the ranger's office tells you that it is 7 miles or so. I hiked this trail more than ten times and it's a pleasure every time, not to mention the great views and solitude. It's 10 miles from starting point and back to the trail head. I recommend it!!!

Second time we went there made a lot of stops to enjoy the beautiful view. Go early and take plenty of water and comfortable shoes.

Nice trail, mostly flat but enough elevation to catch a few decent peeks at the Salt River and the Red Mountain.

Great trail for beginners. Beautiful scenery and views.

Great trail for running!

Easy hike for first 2 miles, then scramble comes up on you. Be ready to climb. Requires athleticism and no fear of heights. Spectacular view at the top. Highly reccomend for those capable.

My personal favorite hiking trail. Not tough, but long enough to get a good hike in.

We enjoyed the hike and it’s well worth it. Trail is easy until you get to the base of the mountain. Trail is pretty easy to follow. We did get a little off trail on the way down but with the GPS we were able to quickly get back on the trail!

on Bulldog Canyon

off road driving
2 months ago

First time in Tonto National, pleasantly surprised at the beauty. Saguaros were starting to bloom.
The views of the east and west canyon walls were spectacular. Looking forward to taking the run coming from the southend for a different perspective. Some area will need 4W with full size Jeep. Nice half day run.

hiking
2 months ago

One of the better “city hikes” - not too many people there on a weekend - some fairly steep inclines. Would do it again

trail running
2 months ago

By far my favorite loop at the Hawes Trail System. Not as much elevation as doing the full Hawes Trail Loop, but the views are much better and the trail is way more fun. Lots of rolling hills and undulations - the miles just fly by. Trail is easy/moderate when on the Ridge Trail connector, bumps up to moderate on Saddle Trail, and is more difficult/technical on Saguaro Trail and Mine Shaft.

trail running
2 months ago

Pros - great views, well maintained trails, good terrain and elevation, not too crowded, most of trail is shaded in the afternoon/evening.

Cons - Trail is pretty poorly marked. Thankfully the AllTrails app on my phone was very accurate and I was able to get back on the trail pretty easily.

I consider this a Hard hike. The trail is easy until the Petroglyphs which is the end of the Hieroglyphics trail. There are two ways to go from there, left will take you boulder hopping and right to a faint trail. Both ways have cairns but I prefer the faint trail to the right. The rest of the way is hard. My favorite view is reaching the saddle that meets the Superstition Ridgeline trail. From there follow cairns southeast passing the summit area and turn back around to reach the summit. Took us 7 hours, including approx. 30 mins rest and picture time at the summit.

First let’s start out that this is a great trail with lots of EVERYTHING you could look for in a trail. As the previous hike noted, past the saddle there IS NO trail, and barely any markers. And since no water was to be found except for some pools in the river canyon. Navigation thru the washes was very time consuming. Running low on water, I ended up loosing the trail at the SW boot trying to navigate the boulder canyon and needed to call 911 to get SAR to help me. The red line GPS on the AllTrails app was extremely unreliable after the saddle. You are on you own navigating and finding the trail to the west side loop trail. As the GPS line will tend to drift you away from the loop trail on the SW corner. Do yourself a favor and download and use the SAT layer map to find the trail again. THIS TRAIL IS NOT FOR UNEXPERIENCED HIKERS

This would have been 4 stars if the cave was more spectacular or the trail had been less rocky and better marked.
I followed the path of least resistance without looking at my GPS coming down, and ended up taking a detour through the desert to get back to the trail.

2 months ago

More of a mountain bike than a hike trail. For hiking it’s pretty easy and very exposed. Not a tad of shade, so better for the winter months. Be aware of bikers.

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