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.

Nice easy hike


This was a nice relaxing trail and very beautiful. Be very careful because you have to go and come back to get back to where you parked or you will be stuck in Gold Canyon!

We started @ 10:30, park warden asked if we had head lamps but finished @ 4 pm. Many hikers going to view point then back, carried on to the loop! Views are beautiful and trails keep you alert with loose rock and shale! My new favourite hike!

My husband and I took our puppies up here and it was awesome! We all really enjoyed the hike. There wasn’t too many people which made it very nice =)

This isn't about the trail but about the GPS taking us out there. It really is extremely remote with no cell service so download a map before you go. The trail head doesn't look very official because it doesn't have a sign in sheet and is totally faded with no map of the area and we thought we'd follow The GPS to where it wanted us to go just to make sure there wasn't another unofficial trail head. The GPS will try to map you a mile past the trail head, like it did us, and my high clearance SUV ended up getting stuck because continuing to follow that road will lead to more ATV type trails that are very steep, uneven, and extremely rocky. Due to this, my fiancè and I had to try to hike out of the remoteness completely prepared to hike the 22miles out. By some sheer luck I checked my cell phone for the time about 4 miles out between Ellison's ranch and mile marker 18 and had 2 bars, I may mention now that we both have Verizon. Because of this we were able to call help and were able to get our car pulled out and drive away safely but not enjoy the hike unfortunantely. So if you do happen to get stuck and have to walk, it takes about 6 hours to walk out from a little past the chasm and another 8 to get to the nearest town so if you are able to find that spot with reception I highly encourage you to utilize that opportunity because there may not be another like it. Don't bother calling your insurance if you have towing on your policy, I called mine and all but one tow company was unwilling to come out for us due to the area and wanted to charge upwards of 500 to get us out. Your best bet is to call 911, tell them your stuck, give them your coordinates and they will come out with a winch and help get you out of there. The road up to the trail head is doable with a high clearance vehicle but do not attempt trying to drive past because it is very possible you could get stuck. Also, I might mention the road is extremely narrow at parts where only one car can fit with a possibility of dropping off the mountainside if someone did come along. The drive is certainly not for that faint of heart. These are the coordinates ( 33.7918401, -110.8269091) for the area with reception about an 1 hour and 20 mins from the actual trail head but if I were you, I would start checking my phone for service after passing the ranch. Hope this helps.

Great Hike with GTAH, AZ! Easy/Moderate with spectacular views! Bathroom on site! Need to purchase pass at Gas Stations, $8.00

Went last Saturday with the family it was a great trail. We are new to hiking but all did well. Views from the top are awesome.

I'd call this moderate but strenuous. Nothing incredibly difficult about the ascent, just a lot of work if you aren't in the best shape (me). I particularly enjoy that it's not the usual desert landscape. There are a lot of trees and shady areas that you can feel the temp drop as soon as you walk through them. There's a beautiful view of the Needle at the top with plenty of space to relax and enjoy the view. A great all around hike. Plan on about 90-120 minutes up and about an hour back down.

Getting to the trailhead is straightforward. Once you get off the 60 you go about a mile on pavement, then loose asphalt. Then the rest of the road in is about 5 miles of washboard dirt so be prepared. Nothing a little car can't handle, but it does take a bit of time to get to the parking lot.

The trail is pretty easy to follow and mostly marked by its wear. In the few spots it wasn't completely obvious there are kairns ti guide you in the right direction.

Did this hike a week ago and loved it. Definitely a change of scenery. Felt very foresty (as opposed to the usual desert landscape) with the trees and bush, especially at the beginning. Awesome rock formations and views the whole way up. I was worried about the trail's difficulty but would say the trail is moderate and the elevation is gradual. Weaver's Needle is super cool to see too. Loved how "out there" the park felt (as opposed to more urban environments like Camelback or Dobbins Lookout), a total escape. We started at 2 pm, weather in the 60s or so, and almost the entire trail was in the shade, so we got pretty cold at certain points. Wished I wore leggings and brought a jacket. Moderate to highly trafficked. Also, beware that the trailhead is at the end of a 7 mile dirt road. Saw quite a few sedans but would still recommend driving a SUV if possible.


Did this hike mid-November and it was amazing! One of my favorite hikes I've done in the area! The trip took us about 3.5 hours, but we accidentally went off-trail for about 0.5 miles at one point. Make sure to check where you're going every once and a while, I can see how easy it is to take a wrong path. The junctions themselves are well marked though. Definitely think its better to start with Granite Trail and then finish the loop on Hawes Trail. We also saw a small herd of the wild Salt River horses, including 2 foals! The scenery is beautiful. Would definitely say this trail is moderate - the elevation is a lot of up and downs but pretty easy. Most of the trail is in the sun. Would say it's lightly trafficked, and most of the traffic we did run into were mountain bikers.

Only complaint is that the trailhead is just on the side of the road, and terribly marked. We had to drive back and forth to find the trailhead and the parking pass machine (just keep driving down another few miles and eventually you get there). There's also an option to buy the parking passes at the nearest drug stores or gas stations, but we did not know about that before going. The nearest parking lot is further down the road, which was fine distance-wise but was concerning walking on the side of a large/busy road.

This a good mtb or hiking trail if you want want to get out of the heat and see some pines. It’s quiet and scenic.

Gorgeous views on the east side of the mountain. Never very crowded. Easy place to hike where there are people, but you can still feel like you are by yourself. A lot of small trails to run around on, and nothing overly strenuous.

Going down is the warm up. Get prepared to hike back. Do the extra mile at the end for the waterfall.

This Trail is tricky. Most people hike right straight up the bottom of the canyon in the middle. It is best on the way up to stay to the left and follow the ridge, same thing on the way back down stay to the right and follow the ridge. there's a little hiking in the middle Canyon but watch for the trails veering off.

for two 66 year olds it was all we wanted. beautiful scenery

I did a solo hike yesterday, going up it was a little difficult finding the trail. Great scenery, beautiful views from the summit I will be going back soon.

Gorgeous hike with an amazing sunset while I hiked back down! I don't agree with the person who said you cant take a small car down to the trail. I did it just fine. I've also taken my little car all the way down the 88 to Roosevelt Lake.

7 days ago

Wonderful hike up to three spring going through the forest following the Horton Creek with some mini waterfalls all along. Very beautiful scenery, very peaceful and relaxing. This hike is at a moderate level.

I forget how much I love this trail. It never ceases to impress me when you come up over the saddle!

Very fun hike, lots of scrambly off-trail areas.

My favorite hike yet. Beautiful up, at the top, and back. Hope to do it again soon.

Hiked on Sunday 12/3 and could not summit due to icy and snowy conditions. Beautiful hike.

Started Clockwise....ended up all over the place as not marked well at all.....but what a beautiful adventurous hike it was!

We loved this trail. Did it with a 3 and 6 year old. Some of the downhill was hard for the kids, make sure you have non-slip shoes!

Great trails a little rocky, so watch your step. Overall a nice hike with plenty of mountain views.

A great hike today. Love this trail. Dont be scared of it, just get out there and do it.

Started around noon and finished at 5:20. Great hike, I did hike clockwise first up the Fremont ridge. This seems to be a popular hike to the ridge ran into a dozen people or so. But after the ridge I didn’t see a sole. Pure wilderness solitude!

Terribly marked trail, but overall a TON of fun. Amazing views from the top and some climbing required. It's easy to get lost on the way down, so make sure you have adequate time for sunlight.

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