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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.

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike, not sure why this is rated as moderate. Once you get to the waterfall the real hike begins in one mile you will climb 1400+ feet up the face of the rim. The trail is pretty much non existent I had to follow stacks of rocks and build my own in some spots, as my phone had died and I was on my own. All trails, say this is a 4 mile 1900 ft elevation gain when I got to waterfall i was like there is now way I hiked 1900 ft. I pulled up all trails and seen I still had 1 mile to go. I did not want to miss out on anything and pressed on. Take lots of water and food as that last mile is ruff. If all you want to do is hike to the waterfall then I would say this hike is easy.

Hiked this trail with our dog and she thoroughly enjoyed it! However, me being from Colorado, when I read that there was a river, I was expecting an actual river. It's more of a little tiny stream that springs up in the middle of the trail and then follows the trail for a couple hundred yards. Also, if you're like me, your ankles will be sore by the end from almost constantly walking on the edge of the ditch/trail. Overall, still a fun trail that took us about an hour and a half to complete.

Lots of ATV use and little side cuts from them.

My family loved it! It was my 4 year old daughters first time really having to climb so I'm glad we went.

My first time hiking this trail...and LOVED it!! What I learned:
1) Trail is rocky, wear comfortable, supportive HIKING shoes, your feet will appreciate it. Take water shoes or sandals (Teva is my favorite) for when you’re ready to jump in the swimming holes
2) Have PLENTY of water to drink!! When you think you have enough, take some more. Other option is to fill your water bottle at the spring.
3) Watch our for critters...2 fellow hikers saw rattle snakes and 1 saw a tarantula...I got lucky and saw a deer.
4) The sun can be a bit brutal so make sure you have a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
5) Pace yourself on the way back up, take breaks in shady areas (when you can find one), the trail is exposed to the sun
6) Pack light snacks
7) DRINK WATER!!
8) Have fun!! Happy hiking!!

This trail is very nice and finished by a waterfall !! We took 3h to reach it. At the crossing roads between "Spring" and "Dam", the first one is a little bit longer and you have to cross the river just before the fall but the trail has more shadow and follow the river. Bring a lot of water (we have 3 liters per person), because the return climbs.

The first thing to figure out with this trail is if you want a big up or big down. If you go clockwise you will get the big up first. If you go counterclockwise you get the big down last thing before you get back to your car.

The rest of this trail is really gradual and most of it is very easy going. I was even thinking this could be one of the better trails for trail running out there.

The flora and fauna for much of the route is in within riparian areas and is incredibly diverse. More than all that, this trail is absolutely beautiful from start to finish. This would be perfect for someone who has been building up endurance for a longer hike, but doesn't need 2000'+ elevation gains.

So this hike I’ve been on several times growing up and definitely a hike to go on in the late winter or spring to see the waterfalls. Which in the past have seen up to three climaxing with the third in the canyon. I enjoy the difficulty especially because it keeps it relatively quiet of lazy hikers and people who leave trash behind. They seem to avoid harder trails which is great for the rest of us. Beautiful views and water keeps me coming back every year!

backpacking
7 days ago

Fun hike. Bring an insane amount of water. Keep eyes peeled for old steps made a century or two ago.

hiking
7 days ago

Perfect for someone from the Phoenix area because you'll get your fix of wildflowers and a woodland paradise, including waterfalls. It's a charming hike, and good for summer because it's shaded and has the cool water of the creek nearby.

Fun and tough towards the top. Was worth the drive out.

off road driving
9 days ago

Well, it's not a groomed dirt road anymore, the summer monsoons have washed the switchbacks and quite a few of the washes out. We went with a group of 4X4 Toyotas and had a blast. Just the right amount of technical with awesome views. The switchbacks put the rigs under some stress as the temps were 105+ but we knew that was a possibility going into it. Lots of cool places to stop and enjoy the scenery, landscape changes galore as you go from low desert to pine. Overall an enjoyable drive and one that would be even better at lower temps. Also, a few places looked like they would be pretty great campsites, not too far from the trail but traffic didn't seem that heavy.

hiking
9 days ago

This trail starts at the very north end of Cave Creek Road at the base of the Tonto National Forest.. Although it was 110 degrees in Phoenix, it is about 8 degrees cooler than in the city. i went on a Saturday morning and had the trail all to myself. There were no trail markings, and I ended up off trail coming back. Thanks to the Alltrails map and GPS I was able to get back on trail fairly quickly. There was no shade until the very end. Disappointed that there was no water at the end of the trail, and, as others have stated, the swarm of bees and wasps kept me from going beyond the boulders. Views were nothing special.

hiking
10 days ago

This ended with a spectacular desert view of Weever's needle along a straightforward but rocky trail.

Once you get off the 60 and get all the way down Peralta, it becomes a long winding dirt road. This road goes on for a good 20-30 minutes depending how fast you drive. It's maintained but very washboard like with a ton of bumps and small washes (last time I lost a fog light b/c I didn't use locking washers lol). My 2WD pickup makes it fine and so can most cars.

Once on the trail it's very clear where to go. There's shade in the morning but once the sun comes up it's pretty exposed. Overall good trail, but a decent amount of rocks.

At the saddle, you can see the needle, but there's a WAY better view if you head to the right, towards the only pine tree you'll see out there. Just head to the right and you'll see a trail that heads down to it.

I recommend going early in summer, I started around 5:40am and it was very nice out, even in the sun. Definitely bring plenty of water (~3L) and sunscreen for the return as it does get hot around 9:30. For the rocks, I definitely recommend boots or hardy trail runners, something with a toe guard-- I stubbed my foot so many times on bigger rocks. Also, if you enjoy hammocking, there is a good rock anchor point next to the pine tree that makes for a breath-taking siesta spot.

Overall solid trail, very few people even on a weekend, and great views of the desert!

hiking
10 days ago

Short hike, there is shade intermittently, I got 2.8 miles round trip. I was hoping there would be water but no luck today. It was a fun little walk, but with water it will be 100% better. The bees are very active at the area where Falls would be. Saw owls, rabbits.

Beautiful views. Some up and down, but not extremely strenuous. I only made it about a quarter of the loop- the sun was too hot to do the whole loop.

Loved it, next time I’m starting earlier than 9 am though!

hiking
12 days ago

Silly Mtn is just across Hwy 60 from our RV Resort and every time we pass the parking lot we see many cars parked there. Finally my hiking group walked over from Canyon Vistas RV Resort and hiked the loop you see here, plus every "cross path" for a total of about 6 miles. The group marked it Easy to Moderate but there wasn't much in the easy category... but the scenery was a big surprise and I'm glad I did it!!!!!!!

favorite hike so far, absolutely beautiful! + parking is convenient and trail is well marked. you will have to drive a dirt road for a few miles but my compact car had no issues.

on Horton Creek Trail

12 days ago

great place to be naked!!

Great hike for beginners and those not wanting to be physically challenged too much. Great scenery and amazing boulders to be see. Bring lots of water!

hiking
15 days ago

Was an amazingly beautiful hike! Lots of small waterfalls along the creek! Also lots of bugs and mosquitos! Take some repellent with you. Weather was amazing!

hiking
16 days ago

Hiked 7/29/18 with a friend and two dogs. Forgot how beautiful and lovely this trail is. Not too difficult, lots of water spots to stop at. Water is low right now but still worth it. Started early am Sunday, saw a couple people hiking out, and tons of people coming back, was getting pretty busy. Drive all the way until you cross the small bridge, park immediately in the lot to your left, cross back over the bridge on foot and up the little dirt road hill to start the trail.

Good trail! Small waterfall, would be larger after rain or in spring when snow melts.

Such a great trail! Easy little hike/trail, constant river close to trail at all times. Great for dogs and kids too!! There is a bathroom next to the parking spots as well. Lots of little spots to just hang out by the river the whole way up. Make sure to bring water and keep in mind the temperature of the ground if you have a dog (even at 85 degrees the dirt and sand gets up to 100-105 degrees, which is waaay too hot for any pup)

backpacking
17 days ago

Easy to follow after the wash. Great views!

hiking
17 days ago

Great trail. Not difficult at all. The path is pretty clear and you definitely get your heart racing. Very scenic.

An incredible hike for sure!
So much to see on your way up the Needle with plant of shady spots to take a mini break before continuing.
No Permit needed to go exploringout here, unless you're trying to squeeze in The Wave Cave, which you actually pass by on your way to The Peralta Trailhead.
Anyhow, bring some good sturdy shoes as the terrain can get quite rugged as you gain elevation.
The amazing needle view from Fremont Saddle is quite a reward after all that hiking!

I should have read the reviews more carefully before attempting this hike. It was beautiful and SO REMOTE. We were out almost half a day and saw no one else on the drive out or back. The giant downer of the excursion was that, as other reviewers have noted, the trail is not well-marked. As a result, we took a wrong turn and crossed to the right-hand side of the river too early. We didn’t realize our mistake until it was much too late. We didn’t have enough water or time to retrace our steps and try again, so we never made it to the payoff at the top! I’m still giving this trail four stars because it was stunning. One day I’d like to return and do it right, but in the meantime, I wish some good samaritan would leave cairns or other markers just at the key junctions where it’s so easy to take a wrong turn!

Note: there was a fresh rockslide on the “road” (cliff path) probably a half mile from the trailhead. We had a Jeep Wrangler but recognized that we might actually die if we attempted to drive over it, so we parked and walked the rest of the way!

I really enjoyed Peralta - it was a decent cardio workout, had lovely views, and the parking wasn't too bad.
I recommend you wear proper hiking shoes or boots because there is loose rock, and the scramble to the saddle has a few spots that are steep. Grippy shoes are good for this trail.
Once you crest the saddle, you can see Weaver's Needle in the distance, and the Lone Pine to the right. There is a lot of space on the saddle that's flat, so you can picnic, stretch, etc. I scooted off to a more remote part of that saddle and had a 15-minute yoga practice.
I'd definitely recommend this trail because I look forward to hiking it again!

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