hiking

views

nature trips

walking

dogs on leash

birding

wild flowers

trail running

wildlife

dog friendly

kid friendly

mountain biking

forest

river

backpacking

horseback riding

off road driving

scenic driving

no dogs

camping

waterfall

fishing

lake

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.

trail running
19 hours ago

I highly recommend this loop. We started at 6 am in mid April and the temperatures were perfect. I ran the loop in shorts and my new balance street running shoes. After reading other reviews i chose to go counter clockwise and upon reaching the last half mile or so i am glad i did. It would have been very difficult to climb that last section and them finish the loop i think. Overall the trail was easy to follow, well designated, interspersed with technical and non technical sections, most of which was non technical. I run trails in the Houston TX area so take that to heart. I was able to finish this loop in about an hour and 45 minutes with and average pace of 11 min/mile. I run a lot, but nothing like this. The scenery was breathtaking and moving. Get there at sun up, start early, stop to take in the view from time to time, and enjoy a moderate technical trail with some great sections to fly through. I clocked the loop, counter clockwise, at 9.4 miles on my apple watch.

Make sure you take a right when you get to the fork on the trail. Left for spring (top of waterfall) right for dam (bottom). Took about 7 hours pacing myself and spending time at the waterfall. Hiked in mid April and water was great!

hiking
1 day ago

What an amazing loop this is. Everything is in it. So unbelievable divers. We need a small five hours today, but stopped a lot of times to see the flowers, the birds, the squarrels and the lizzards. We started against the clock and had the idea, that the right site of the loop was very good to do. The way back was in the beginning very nice, going through the bush. Later on there was a lot of loose sand, but going down was ok. Surprise, you surprised us very much. We will come back absolutely.

hiking
2 days ago

I went at the end of February. Beautiful hike. Being a beginner I will say pace yourself. The way to the falls was easy but the uphill back out was rough. I was with experienced hikers though and was trying to keep up. I can't imagine doing this hike in the summer. I brought more water than I thought I'd need and almost ran out. Definitely need sturdy shoes, I wore trail runners and my toes got beat up pretty bad.

nature trips
3 days ago

An easy and beautiful hike with Creek access!

Awesome trail. I rate easy trail with moderate elevation.. Bonus we seen the wild horses on the end of our hike playing in the lake.

As mentioned below, I recommend taking the trail Clockwise starting on the Peralta side. (Trail 102 to 104 to 234 to 235) If you start early enough, you will have a great view of Weaver’s Needle at sunrise. The trail is pretty well defined and you will notice when you start getting of course and I just always looked for footprints to help me find my way. There’s quite a bit of loose rocks along the 234/235 trail which is another reason why I would recommend going clockwise because I would not want to be going down hill on that part of the trail. The rest of the trail however is dirt path and easy to hike. Like everyone else has said, bring lots of water and snacks! It is the desert and this hike is long- took me about 5 and half hours or so with minimal stops and keeping pace. It’s an awesome challenging trail though and highly recommend!

Was absolutely worth the wait and yes although a tough hike, with plenty of water, proper shoes, snacks & laughter from friends, recommend this hike. Get permit and enjoy.

Great Sunday morning hike. Great 360 degree views. Started out around 9:30am and finished up around noon. Would recommend an earlier start from now through the hot months as it was approaching 85 when we finished up. There is no shade on the trail. Bring plenty of water & sunscreen. Wear hiking footwear as it’s very rocky on the trail, especially, the first half. Great hike!!

Nice hike, pretty easy for me. Camped overnight, beautiful and quiet.

Outstanding...& hard. Left very late: 1600, which means I had to really hustle. Did lose my way a time or 2, both on the ascent & descent. Spent only 10 to 15mins on summit...

Go in Arizona's short spring season, early in the morning. Everything's in bloom!

hiking
5 days ago

Incredible hike with shade from the pines and sounds from the creek. Didn't want to leave.

So peaceful here. Perfect place to go and get lost in nature!

We hiked down from Strawberry. The views are amazing!!

This was such an amazing day! We went with a group who had kiddos so they left us around mile 2 but we ventured on. AllTrails says it’s 6.7 miles but we clocked in 8 miles with a gain of 1,245 feet & so worth it. Although there were a ton of cars in the lot the trail was pretty quiet with just the sound of the water flowing down the creek in the background. There were at least half a dozen little waterfalls along the way & we did stop a couple times for a snack and just for a moment of relaxation; with a nice, crisp breeze to keep you cool. We’d definitely do this one again!

Nice hike in, long, and fairly intense but manageable on the way out. Only real
Shit part is that first mile back up, it’s the steepest. Swimming hole totally worth everything! I encourage anyone who is a good swimmer to go into the toilet bowl. So fun. Bring good swimming goggles. Fill your water bladder up at the beginning of the springs, where it’s filtered. It’s clean water, straight from the earth. Enjoy

Great view from the saddle!

My boyfriend and I were very excited for this hike! Thankfully someone had marked the trail with chalk and set up many carnies to help us out. If you don’t see one in like 10-20 steps, turn around cause you’re likely going the wrong way. He really enjoyed searching for them. The view was so pretty and the mailbox was very adorable. The only downside was really coming down. No joke about loose gravel! It’s almost half of the trail going down. Be VERY prepared with water, for this was our biggest downfall going down. Thankfully we made it and bonded more over that. Overall the hike took 6 hours round trip, which would have taken longer if not the markings, so plan for spending a day here with lots of water. Not much shade so enjoy it while you find it!

hiking
6 days ago

Very nice, easy trail.

Amazing! Definitely not easy on the way back up but it’s tolerable! It was my first longer hike in many years, and i felt extremely accomplished when I made it back to the top.I can’t wait to go again! One thing... bring A LOT of water! I brought 5L and had my last sip as I got to the car.

What a great trail! Fantastic views along the way and of course at the top. The hike is fairly easy until you get to the chute. Take your time going up and you should be fine, only a few questionable spots.

hiking
9 days ago

Right now creek is pretty dry. Minimal flowers blooming due to a dry winter. I like this trail because of the low traffic. I went in only 5 miles and turned around due to time.

This is a gorgeous hike!!! There were hardly any other people out when I went, so it was a very nice experience. The view of weavers needle is superb. The desert is just glorious in these parts. I couldn’t stop taking photos. Oh, and I saw a collared lizard right off of the trail! I wouldn’t rate this trail as difficult though- more like moderate. But that doesn’t matter- highly recommend!

Beautiful view, low-traffic and peaceful -- at least the parts over the first saddle (when run clockwise). The track is a bit difficult to follow, and quite challenging to run due to the loose gravel and steep grades. On the far side of the saddle, it feels a lot more remote and cell reception drops out in places. The "trail" out there is more like a combination of wildlife trail and drainage. You have to rely quite a bit on the presence of cairns to make the correct turns, including finding the branch for this trail from the Pass Mountain trail if you do it counterclockwise.

Be aware that you climb TWO saddles when completing this loop.

Nice trail with good views of Salt River and the Red Mountain.

Great hike!

off road driving
10 days ago

Best place to get some Arizona pin stripes on your truck.

Beautiful views. Great workout!

Great hike! Just enough to get your blood flowing while enjoying nature.

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