nature trips



wild flowers

dogs on leash


trail running

kid friendly

mountain biking




dog friendly

off road driving

horseback riding



scenic 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.

This is a excellent and challenging hike, due to the technical climb the last 1/4 mile to the summit. You are required to climb almost vertical rock face and at times make your own path through the chute & on to the summit, there is little margin for error here. BUT if you enjoy climbing and a good workout the view is 100% worth it. Watch out for cactus in the foot and handle holds! Take your time navigating the summit, there are no trail markings and its easy to get lost trying to find your way back down. Few nice areas to camp along the way up.
You can get to the trail head two ways, Off AZ 87 via FSR 143 (Cline Cabin Rd) or off AZ 188 via El Oso Rd. The FSR 143 route will take you almost an hour to hit the trail head, a 4x4 vehicle with some clearance is recommended. (A sedan on this road would be a nightmare). I've read traveling from El Oso Rd is a little more manageable. Don't forget to enjoy the ride in, Tonto's scenery is absolutely breathtaking and always wild.

this trail was awesome. A geocaching group came up here as an event and hiked it. the views and some of the boulders. speechless. how I love AZ.

1 day ago

2 days ago

Special place 1:30" from Scottsdale.

The hike is pretty decent, parts of the trail are narrow and rock, but still easy to hike.

Plenty of wild horses at trailhead area and saw a few javelinas about .5 mi.

At about the 4mi. mark you start descending into trees and scrub bush....this is where I would recommend turning back.

A couple reasons to turn back - there just isn't much to see (no lake view) and too much bush/dead tree limbs to beat through.

We did get to within yards of the end but I wouldn't go that far again.

Actually, I most likely won't hike this trail again

4 days ago

6 days ago

Did this Easter Sunday for the first time. This is a Must Hike if you want to really get into the Supes and see spectacular views. The sight of Weavers as you hit the saddle is breathtaking. Definitely do the extra scramble to the Lone Pine and hang out for a bit and enjoy the view. If you start early in the morning you can have some shade for the first bit of the hike, the rest can be toasty even in Spring so definitely rest and hydrate on the way up, will be some good pockets of shade or outcroppings of rock you can rest under. I would not rate this hard unless you aren't used to desert hiking. I would rate it moderate as there isn't much skill required other than watching where you step and pacing yourself on hotter days.

on Derrick Trail

6 days ago

Gave this 5 stars since I did the full loop in May: Derrick to Highline then down Horton. If you only do Derrick it would be a 3 -ish star. Derrick alone is a decent hike, not much shade for the first uphill stretch, and scenery doesn't vary much until you actually hit the intersection with Highline- but definitely lovely views here and there and is a welcome quiet alternative to Horton (In the two times I have done this I've seen a total of 3 other humans). If you have the time to spare and can do a 9.5 miler then I highly recommend the full loop. Keep in mind it gets to almost 7000 feet along the Highline but having Horton as your home stretch is lovely. If you aren't able for a 9-10 mile and still want some change of scenery, you can do Derrick to Highline and continue on the Highline for a bit and just make it an out and back.

Took a friend from the East Coast and my two dogs, a Golden Retriever and a Border Collie mix on a Wednesday. We saw one couple bringing their dogs out when we got there at noonish, and didn't see another soul on the whole trail. Trail is clean, well maintained, and hosts some beautiful views. Don't let some of the lackluster photos of this trail fool you--its lovely.

Great hike but trail is unmarked and hard to follow. Beautiful scenery. Lots of people. Limited shade. Be careful of flash floods with rain.

A perfect hike for the whole family!

A pretty hard trail if you go the whole way and no waterfall in the summer :( at least not went we went in July. It's a beaut. Take sunscreen, duh. (We didn't and burned pretty bad. Will have these tan lines for the rest of our lives pretty sure.) You feel like you're in the middle of nowhere because the trail goes pretty far into the mountains. If you're into that and pretty views, this trail is for you. Kinda rocky in some places. I tripped regularly.