dogs on leash
off road driving
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.
My wife and I are new to hiking and we agree "moderate" is an appropriate ranking. The only somewhat challenging part around halfway through when you cross the river(a bunch of times) it was easy to get off trail... that may be due to our novice skill level but overall we had a blast!
A nice easy hike. Nothing strenuous. Lots of beautiful scenery. We saw a bald eagle, lots of lizards and literally everything was in bloom! Good hike for kids. My seven year old did well. There is certainly a point where the trail gets far more primitive about 2/3 of the way. I had to triple check we were still on the right trail. Go early it gets busy with kayakers, paddleboarders and of course hikers!
This was a very poorly marked trail system. Ended up doing an out and back because we didn't look at this app until after our run. Got lost on different side trails that lead to streets trying to find our way. Ended up doing 8miles in the hot sun. We assumed you stayed on the same trail name, not switching to multiple trails to form this loop. The map at the beginning of the trail head was very unclear also. Would have had a better experience using this app, going earlier in the morning and bringing more water than we had. No shade on this trail.
This was a really great trail that is a combination of portions of the Second Water, Boulder Canyon, Calvary, and Lost Dutchman trails. I went counterclockwise on the trail and I really enjoyed the Second Water and Boulder Canyon trails. The Calvary Trail portion was a little difficult because you are going up the canyon and I was doing that portion by the middle of the day. Instead of taking Lost Dutchman's Trail all the way through on the bottom portion, I actually did take Bull Pass which was difficult because it is a steeper downhill hike. I ended up sleeping at the foot of Palomino mountain. It was a beautiful night to compliment a beautiful day. Plenty of stream crossing where you can fill up (if you have a water filter) and if you get tired/injured there are a few shorter trails you can take. There was a ranger at the beginning (Ryan) and he was very kind (I got to the parking lot early, get there early or you will have to park somewhere else). You will occasionally see another person on the trail, especially as you get within 3 miles of the parking lot as it seems to be a popular place to hike. I went in March so the weather was great, but I can see it getting hotter in the summer and the springs being less dependable.