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.
The "Road Closed" sign seemed to only pertain to cars. Otherwise, the sign post at the 'trailhead' says only that the area was closed until some time in 2014 during some sort of construction.
Other than that, I didn't hike the whole way, but I did have a great walk along the wash / Forest Road 532. There were a few turn offs for other roads, but I stuck to the main one. It was beautiful, with only a number of birds and wildflowers around.
Kelly L. on Butcher Jones Trail
Did this yesterday. Set out around 8 am. Had great cloud cover and a nice breeze all the way in. Sun came out and I was glad I had my hat. Beautiful views all around. Plenty of wildflowers in bloom. Not too difficult. Start early and bring a hat! Don't forget your Tonto pass. Also, parking was crowded when we left at 11.
The first 1/3 of a mile is fairly easy. At this point you come to the confluence of a couple of streams. You do need to cross the stream here. A lot of people were having problems with the stream crossing. From here you have another 3/4 of a mile up the canyon to the locked gate. I had all of my kids in tow (ages 14-6). The only one that required assistance every now and again was my 6 year old daughter. It was a fun hike. It seemed like most of the people stopped at the confluence.
This is a fun trail! I didn't think it was too difficult in terrain or climb, but it is certainly long! We continued off the trail at the end to reach the waterfalls--it's a bit difficult to find, but we asked a few campers along the way. The swimming was great! The water was cold but so clear and a great depth.