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Great hiking with my dog! She loved it. The hike up is tough but the views are 100% worth it!

1 day ago

Great hard hike - second time up and it and it takes about six hours and three liters of water in January. Tried it in September last year when it was about 90 and ran out of water before the final climb. Lots of water this year in the creek and a bit in one of the washes.

2 days ago

Very pretty hike near the perimeter of Saguaro Lake. It’s rated as “moderate” but I would definitely consider this an “easy” hike. I went on a Sunday so it was a little on the busy side, but not overly crowded.

2 days ago

"Lightly travelled"?? Really? Maybe because it was MLK Day, but this trail was packed with people and pets, including a class outing. Constantly having to step aside the narrow trail to let opposing hikers by and vice versa. Would have been some decent scenery if I had time to look at it. When one of the hikers was playing rap music on his phone so everyone could hear, that was it for me, turned around and went home. I would also rate it as easy, not moderate.

Beautiful trail!! Loved it! Took about 2.5 hours

no shade
5 days ago

First time hiking this loop. Muddy in sections after recent rains. All easily passable. Excellent, beautiful hike. Personally, I would not call this hike primitive or difficult and I am just of average fitness. Trails are VERY used and well defined. We hiked counterclockwise, which climbs faster and gets you up to Elephant Mountain faster, with a nice gradual descent back to the parking lot. Most people seem to go up clockwise and return the same way. Note that the route up to the "summit" is posted "AREA CLOSED" but everyone goes up anyway. 360 degree views are awesome. Also note that this summit is NOT Elephant Mountain, which is the tall mountain peak just to the west. My GPS said 3342' and 7.6 miles from the parking lot. I'd definitely hike this again in the same direction, CCW... easier on the knees.

7 days ago

Beautiful trail! We moved at a decent pace and it took about 2 hours (in and out).

moderate for sure.

Beautiful lake views with moderate elevation gain. Can’t wait to try this one in the spring when the flowers bloom.

Rather repetitive, beautiful scenery though! Water levels are quite low.

Butcher Jones trail hugs the perimeter of lovely Saguaro Lake. Steep, rugged slopes and colorful peaks are a gorgeous backdrop to the glistening water. Along with fabulous views we saw a variety of water fowl - loons, buffleheads, ring necks, ruddy ducks, and of course, ridiculous coots. The last mile—a cut across between two arms of the river-lake —we happened on an opening with many active gnatcatchers, bushtit, cactus wrens and black phoebes.

Hiked this for a second time and loved it! Definitely one of the more scenic hikes in the PHX area.

10 days ago

Did this trail on 9th Jan 2019. From Trailhead to just before mesa was covered in snow making the initial descent, and subsequent ascent slower than usual. But holy smokes the trail has great views all round. I'd recommend following the ridge line past the trail which descends from mesa towards teton for more amazing views. Some intersections weren't particularly obvious so take care not to wonder off track...

During my day hike I didn't see a single soul on the trail, making it even more memorable!

11 days ago

Real nice hike with super views. Bring your camera! Definitely moderate as the trail is narrow with rocks and lots of ups and downs. Recommend walking sticks. Be sure to arrive at trail with the Tonto Pass. Restrooms available in parking lot.

A must do for any real hiker

13 days ago

Stunning hike. Our first Grand Canyon hike, and could not have asked for a better introduction to the park. Completed in late December 2018 during the shutdown. We started early, around 8:30, and it took us 6.5 hours to do about 9.5 miles down to Horseshoe Mesa, with a lunch stop on the Mesa itself. Crampons were 100% necessary for the first .75 miles or so, as there was a thick coating of ice, and you do NOT want to be unsure of your step on the early sections of this trail. Oh yeah, and then there’s the steepness. Others have said it, I didn’t believe it, but this thing is S-T-E-E-P. Bring hiking poles and a spare set of knees.

That being said, it has some of the most breathtaking, unobstructed, exposed views of the canyon I could imagine, and was our favorite of the 3 trails we did over 3 days. It doesn’t have quite as much variation as something like the Hermit Trail, but the sheer exposure along the entire trail makes up for it. Add that to the fact that we saw 2 other people the entire 6 hour hike and this is truly one of the most breathtaking experiences imaginable. It was quite chilly at the top (~15F), but in the canyon it warmed up quickly- make sure you layer! 100% a recommended hike, especially in the winter!

Absolutely gorgeous hike! Highly recommended. Make sure to check out Burro Cove at the end of the Trail for some beautiful views of the Salt River!

My favorite hike I've taken in Tonto Forest/Superstition area! I absolutely loved it. Parking available across the street in the Marina lot (the trailhead/hiking spots are nearest to the fence/road). Super varied trail with phenomenal panoramic views of the lake, Four Peaks, Battleship, Weaver's Needle, and Superstition area. Was moderately crowded on a Saturday, but thinned out the further we went. Agree with other hikers - trail was well maintained and well marked, just be sure to pay attention to the rock cairns at the river bed near the end. There isn't any specific "end point." If hikers want to try this one out but are intimated by the "difficult" rating or other reviews, I'd recommend trying it out and going the first 2-2.5 miles or so. You can always turn back whenever! The incline was the perfect workout. The only difficult part, was just the length and by the time you're coming back up on the return, you've already been hiking for 6 miles or so. Overall though, it's 100% worth it. There's also a steamboat tour at the marina and the Goldmine/Ghost Town on Route 88/Apache Scenic Drive. Not hike related, but would they seem cool if you wanted to add other nearby activities to your day.

Had a blast today. It was 40 degrees and rainy but we made it back to the falls. Really beautiful. We took two kids age 5.5 and 7.

Awesome hike! Especially if you’re looking to get far, far away from tourists. We did this back in September and were only visiting for the day, so we didn’t have time to do the full trail and camp at the bottom. So, instead we just hiked down for a while, then hiked back up. We didn’t see a single other person, but we did see a bighorn sheep! The scenery was stunning and the hike felt like you were living on the edge, literally. We packed plenty of water and snacks, wore sunscreen. In other words, we were prepared. Going down was fairly easy, and hiking back up wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Just remember, what goes down, must come up! If you’re not in the best of shape, or if you don’t have good knees, this hike probably isn’t for you. Otherwise, go do it, it’s awesome! I’d definitely go back and camp at the bottom when I have more time!

18 days ago

Been down most of the wash. Waiting for a day after rainfall, I guarantee the waterfall will be best then. Most of the hike is through a wash and depending on where you start the hike, you may have to do some bush-wacking. After going down the wash, there were some American flags. Not quite sure why they're there... maybe signifying mines? I took pictures of the signs around. Also, I don't recommend going too far north on Camp Creek, you may run into Sears Kay Ranch. I had been walking through the desert and ran into it. I walked through the whole ranch and on my way out, I noticed quite a few no trespassing signs. The whole ranch is private property and they make it pretty clear that they don't want you walking through it. Really nice ranch though. Well maintained and nice bathrooms. Seems like it should be a public place... but it's not. Also, beware and be safe around the high-voltage power lines. Saw a power line on the ground today... wasn't connected to anything, but if it was, it could've been dangerous. I'll upload pictures of the signs I saw. Hope this helps.

Whew! The full hike from the neighborhoods in the west to the summit with the flag is no joke... assuming I took the correct route. There are multiple forks that aren't very well marked. Pack water and be prepared for some serious loose rock action.

20 days ago

What a beautiful day! It had snowed the night before, so the trail was a bit hard to follow for the last miles-and-a-half. The summit of the mesa offers great views of the Cave Creek drainage. I saw several animal tracks along the way (coyote, deer, and bobcat).

Beautiful area and views. Would say this was moderate, not hard and 8 miles vs 6.8.

21 days ago

Arduous hike, great vistas. Easier if hiked through from the lake to First Water instead on in and out.

Couple things to note:
1) it is $3 per person not per vehicle.
2) from the parking lot...start going LEFT on Spur Cross Trail. (There are two signs - enter the left one).
3) Then as other reviews mention...When you get to the fork, go RIGHT (counterclockwise) to head up to elephant mountain and that way you do the hard part first!
Such a pretty hike! Barely anyone out there on a Sunday. Really pretty views from the top and could see all the way to weavers needle, the McDowells etc. The summit is in an area that says closed, but you can def enter and summit! It was minimally technical for me; switchbacks were steep leading to the saddle, but moderate if you are in decent shape. No sign at the top of summit though. We clocked in ~10 miles due to mistake at the beginning.. it was a very pretty mistake though!

Not a lot of elevation except going in and coming out. Didn’t see anywhere to summit. Going into the canyon is absolutely gorgeous. One of the prettiest hikes I’ve ever been on. The hike is long. I went there in December so bring multiple layers of clothing. At times, I was hot depending if I was in the sun and other times I was cold when in the shade coupled with the wind. When crossing the river beds make sure to look for the rock cairns to guide you to the trail. It’s pretty easy to get lost here. I’d highly recommend using the GPS map here on AllTrails. Per my GPS, this hike was a total of 12 miles in and out.

Did this with my kids was fun! Great views!

23 days ago

Very beautiful hike, amazing views! The trail is very easy, hardly moderate. I packed a lunch and enjoyed it on the water’s edge. I saw wild horses just before entering the parking area, too. Bring plenty of water and wear pants. You’ll need a daily Tonto Park pass from the gas station off of 87, as well. A very active lake, which was fun to be around. I would definitely hike this trail again!

very nice vistas.
beautiful lake.

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