hiking

views

nature trips

walking

birding

wild flowers

dogs on leash

wildlife

trail running

kid friendly

forest

mountain biking

river

backpacking

dog friendly

off road driving

horseback riding

waterfall

camping

scenic driving

lake

no dogs

The Tonto National Forest, Arizona, embraces almost 3 million acres of rugged and spectacularly beautiful country, ranging from Saguaro cactus-studded desert to pine-forested mountains beneath the Mogollon Rim. This variety in vegetation and range in altitude (from 1,300 to 7,900 feet) offers outstanding recreational opportunities throughout the year, whether it's lake beaches or cool pine forest. As the fifth largest forest in the United States, the Tonto National Forest is one of the most-visited “urban” forests in the U.S. (approximately 5.8 million visitors annually). Its boundaries are Phoenix to the south, the Mogollon Rim to the north and the San Carlos and Fort Apache Indian reservations to the east.

Beautiful view of the Superstition Mountains, a variety of trails.

Although this trail might be scenic at some time, as of August 15, 2017, there is no way to know without what I would call extreme hiking. Apparently the significant amount of rain that has visited the area recently has almost completely obliterated the trail. After several hundred yards from the parking lot, the trail becomes nothing more than mud holes and a vague suggestion of a trail. The trail is unmarked, and not maintained. As a result, unless you want to slosh through a lot of mud and standing water alongside the actual river bed, I would wait at least a few weeks, if not a couple months, before trying this trail.

Although one star might be harsh for the trail as we did not get very far, and the scenery we did see was very nice, I did not know what else to rate it under the circumstances. Perhaps "incomplete" would be better at this time.

Excellent hike! The trail is well market all the way to saddle where you just need to climb towards the peak following your instincts :-o However the view are beautiful. It took me 4 hours. You need 4WD to get to the trailhead.

Easy hike... beautiful view all the way back..!

off road driving
2 days ago

Definitely a fun one. There were a few spots that I wouldn't have been able to do without my Jeep (with the Jeep, easy).

We had a blast hiking this trail. Wasn't overcrowded at all. Absolutely beautiful scenery the entire hike.

As an avid hiker I Will admit I was not prepared for this difficult hike. It was 85 degrees in the hot forest that day. We thought we were going to fossil creek waterfall but ended up coming here instead. It took several hours. We weren't prepared with water. I suggest bring extra water, snacks, and light clothing. Good shoes for the rockiness as well.

Currently closed until further notice, be sure to check Tonto national forest website.

hiking
9 days ago

backpacking
9 days ago

This trail is not for beginners! I did it as an overnight in August and enjoyed it immensely. Hikers should be highly aware of snakes (heard a rattler right outside my tent down in the canyon), wasps, and the heat. The water was dark brown in the creek, wonderful to swim in, and good for drinking as long as you have proper water purification. DO NOT attempt this trail during the rainy season--after mile 5 (out of 8.5 one-way), you descend 3k feet into Hell's Canyon and camp next to the creek, which would be deadly if the water were to suddenly rise from flash flooding. The trail has a lot of scree and is pretty exposed, so you're doing it in August heat like me, make sure to soak your clothing/hat at every opportunity and drink lots of electrolytes. Last but not least--trekking poles are highly recommended! When you do this trail, you can say you've been to the gates of Hell and back! :)

backpacking
10 days ago

This is a hard trail no matter what the rating is. Rough trail with large loose rocks to overcome pretty much the whole trail. You also have to watch for rattlesnakes, which we encountered 2 on the trail. We went in early august so pretty hot. There were multiple natural water sources while we were there. Make sure you bring your gps or map because trail is not well marked and the trail signs are not stable in some places so weather could have moved them.

It was nice to hike along the river to be able to cool off frequently. Also, the hike does not require you to cross over the river, so it was very easy and safe. There was also plenty of shade throughout the hike. We took our four dogs on a Sunday around 10 AM, and the trail was fairly empty. We probably ran into six other groups.