Explore the most popular birding trails in Tonto National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
19 hours ago

Spectacular hike!
Started at 0630 with perfect weather on a day with high forecasts of 82F for Payson and 98F for Phoenix.
Fairly steep uphill for the first 3 miles, but the trail is quite good. Do not turn around at the waterfall at 3.3 miles as the next half mile or so is the most scenic of the whole hike. The rest of the hike is mostly flat and generally relaxing.
Amazing views, nice and green and plenty of flowers and wildlife even after a dry winter.
I clocked 12.7 miles for the round trip and it took me exactly 5 hours.
I will definitely be back!

hiking
23 hours ago

The trail was okay. A lot of rocks. Very confusing trail. It’s not Silly Trail it has different names and at the near end loop I could not find the trail instead of that I went in Mt Baldy trail to get to my car. I give 3 stars two reason are a lot of rocks but the major reason is the trails are very confusing. Yes I use All Trail Map by the way

Nice hike here in Arizona Steve going down steep coming up. Beautiful waterfall and water to swim and was not as cold as I expected had a great time.

Great time. Beautiful country.

Loved this trail

Great hike! It really helps to go with someone who has been or ask to know exactly where to go. This particular hike is not straight to the waterfall. You can get to the waterfall from this hike though. This is closer to 10 miles. We went on a day that was windy and the high was 76° F. I don't think I would want to do this on a hotter day. Pick a windy day!
When you get down to the bottom to the Spring there is a wooden sign that says left to the spring or right to the dam. If you want to get to the waterfall go toward the dam. You'll start going back up hill a little bit it's not bad. It's about another mile from the spring to the waterfall.
There is a great little ledge to jump from when you're looking at the waterfall.
The toilet bowl that you'll hear others talking about is right next to the waterfall. You can jump into it and come up on the other side of the rock into the calm water. There is lots of swimming areas and a beautiful little area to swim into close to the waterfall.
There are some reviewers saying this isn't for kids or dogs but our 8 & 10 year old kids did this and our mini poodle. They did awesome! Dogs are allowed on a leash. We've done similar hikes though. Like Horton Springs (6.7 miles), and Devils Bridge (6+ miles).
Just make sure you bring some sunscreen! And we had 3 gallons of water on us and didn't drink it all between the 4 of us. You definitely drink more going back up.
It took us 3 hours to hike down to the waterfall, and 3 hours back up. And spent about 2 hours at the waterfall. It's beautiful! We loved it!

hiking
5 days ago

Great trail. An easy hike, the weather was beautiful, and the creak was running.

This trail is absolutely stunning! I couldn't stop looking around in awe. There are a few things that I would caution future hikers about: going counter clockwise, you start on Dutchman's but then after you cross a creek and see a sign for trail 235 (bluff springs?), you take that left, don't continue on Dutchman's.

Also both my my and my husband's phones read 12 miles when we finished (12.5 if you count our wrong turn) and going at a moderate pace it took 6.5 hours. Even on a relatively cool day (90 degrees as the high) with a steady breeze, we still ran out of water with about 20 minutes left, even after rationing while we hiked. We only saw one other couple the ENTIRE route, so getting hurt or running out of water would be very dangerous.

All that to say, as rough as we felt when we finished (we're used to 1-3 hour hikes) we still want to go again in the fall. It seriously was one of the most beautiful hikes!

GOTCHA ALERTS, PLEASE READ
The Spring trail is well marked, however just like others said read the warnings and be well prepared.
WATER, WATER and more water. We finished one gallon each by the time we were done.
WHEN GETTING TO THE WOOD SIGN, TAKE THE DAM(N) RIGHT, the spring to the left takes to where the water comes out of the mountain. The DAM trail takes up about a mile straight to the pools and dam, AKA the toilet bowl and water fall.
You can also take Flume trails which is easier, alas longer and get to the exact same dam, Many families with kids take the Flume trail since it's not as rocky or steep, once again, read all the review and see my attached picture.

Love this trail!!! It was nice and cool all day

hiking
8 days ago

This is a photo perfect spot for jumping off the cliffs into the creek, however there isn’t a whole lot of creek to jump in, so it does get congested easily. It is a short trail, easy traverse over boulders, like walking up stairs. There is a cave with a waterfall on this trail, where some boulders have fallen. BIG CAUTIONARY NOTE: I have personal friends who have been swept away and killed in flash floods in this area, please try to avoid during monsoon season, you can be easily become trapped under rocks and drowned. This is also an area with a lot of trash

This was my second official hike and it was amazing! Encountered a rattlesnake but other than that the view was beautiful.

hiking
10 days ago

do you have to pay for parking?

Easy hike for first 2 miles, then scramble comes up on you. Be ready to climb. Requires athleticism and no fear of heights. Spectacular view at the top. Highly reccomend for those capable.

hiking
13 days ago

This was a pretty hike and was more challenging than expected due to our having to climb on and around large rocks.
Since this hike is in a frequent flash flood zone, people have changed the direction they go based on the water level. As a result, there appeared to be multiple trials that make it difficult at times to follow. The waterfalls at the end was very attractive. Beware of the slippery granite rocks around the falls. Even if not wet, they are very smooth. Allow a little longer to do this hike due to the climbing. It took us about 2.5 hours for this three mile hike, even with frequent stops for photography.

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful hike! But be prepared.
Do not underestimate the recommendations. Bring at least 1-1.5 gallons of water each person. You will need it and it will be a matter of whether you can make it back up or not.
Wear sunscreen!
Bring a hat.
If you can hike back up before the sun is blistering or after, that’s ideal.
Plan to spend a few hours down by the water, it’s beautiful and refreshing, bring lunch and some other snacks. Don’t forget to reserve some every for the way back up- yes, UP! Those small inclined hills don’t feel so small when you are already tired and hot!
Now for my personal experience : I’m not very physically active - I just barely made it back to the top. What saved me was: the amount of water I brought, a shirt wrapped over my head and a small towel soaked in water periodically wrapped around the back of my neck. Without those three, I think I would have had heat stroke. The hike back under the 4pm sun is a bit brutal (I went early May)
If you end up like me- I recommend taking your time up the hills. Take as many breaks as you need to catch your breath before you continue. It was very much mind over matter for me and I just kept thinking of the end result. I looked forward to “landmarks” to keep me going, like the little wooden hut which is the halfway point, and the signs towards the first 1/4 of the trail.
Rest in shady areas and take your time as needed.
If you are not physically active and are questioning your capability , I recommend skipping it and doing the four mile round trip hike instead. If you brave it out anyway and find yourself struggling, I hope my advice helps 
I’ll be doing the 4 mile hike RT next time
Other things: don’t forget the permit. Water shoes are helpful.
Not for kids
Not for dogs
Took me about 2-2.5 hours each way

hiking
14 days ago

Nice day hike

hiking
14 days ago

Beautiful trail in AZ - read other reviews and took advice! Hiked at the beginning of May, got the permit in April. Downhill on the way in, uphill on the way out. Went on a Friday morning/afternoon and were the only ones there until about 12:30 pm. The temperature was in the 80s and my bf still drank his 3L of H2O. The water was awesome, and I recommend swimming. Wear good shoes, bring lunch, know what you’re getting yourself into. One of the best trails in AZ. A friend actually recommended it to me when I couldn’t get a permit for Havasu.

hiking
14 days ago

Very nice hike, last quarter of the hike gets a little rougher otherwise a really nice hike to enjoy. I got on late start and it started heating up but I still enjoyed it. Dont forget your water.

It was a short and sweet hike. Lots of sand and loose gravel but beautiful views.

water was cascading through

hiking
17 days ago

Apparently I missed the part about no dogs? As usual, took my dog. Seemed fine. Not a remarkable trail, but the views at the top where it intersects Highline are super. Have to go off trail a bit to see them.

Hiked up to Fremont Saddle with my wife to get the awesome view of Weavers Needle. Started out about 7:30 am to beat the heat and other hikers. Had the whole view up at the top to ourselves for about a half hr. Made our way back down about 9:30 and met the flood of other hikers making their way up. Very nice moderate hike. Path is wide open and easy to maneuver.

fun place to use your 4x4 desert hills,water what ever you want to do, you can do it. alot of views and every now and then you will see a Lincoln Town car out there crazy.

Plenty of free parking, trail all to myself, views of Salt River, Red Mountain, Four Peaks, Weaver’s Needle, some of Superstition Mountains and the north side of Pass Mountain. What’s not to like? All the loose gravel almost pulled it down to a 3, but not quite.
Trail is easy to follow, comes with a bench at the summit, and I got a decent workout and was up and back to the car in less than an hour.

Would rate this trail easy. Extremely beautiful. We encountered three rattlesnakes!

Outstanding love this hike

Not easy as rated. There is no defined trail and it is unorganized. We couldn’t believe we had to climb over boulders and such to get across. We didn’t know if we were on the right track. It gets hot so I would go early if you go during the summer.

hiking
21 days ago

A beautiful trail of boulder hopping. The sounds of the birds, the coolness of the trees and the many colored rocks. We hiked in 2 hours and back, I would of loved to go further.

backpacking
21 days ago

Great peaceful hike. Camped overnight... Just beautiful nature.

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