Explore the most popular dogs on leash 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.

1 day ago

loved it

Great trail bring water. Not recommended for dogs or kids

off road driving
1 day ago

Nice and easy trail for the most part. only one area it get a bit tricky. Nice views as well. I would do it again. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4.

1 day ago

Great hike with young kids.

Beautiful trail! Great views the entire way. Tons of flowing water views! Saw tarantula and snakes. Hardly anyone on the trail. Started at 6:30am and took a few hours to do the entire loop. I took lots of breaks for pics though so not sure how long this trail should really take. Great trail the entire time.

Parking filled up pretty quickly, but considering it was a perfect fall day, it was easy to see why. The 1140' elevation gain over 4+ miles was very doable even for a 51yo not used to the altitude. A little splash of fall foliage along the creek among the pines was a nice touch. Loved being able to listen to the water for the whole hike and climb around the spring at the end. A little rocky, a little dirt, overall a fabulous hike!

2 days ago

This is an awesome and well maintained trail. It's quite scenic and a decent challenge with all the elevation gain, though there is no scrambling involved.
Yesterday there were plenty of waterfalls due to all the recent rain.

Hike to the water isn’t bad- I’d recommend not going in hot summer months. (Don’t forget your parking permit.) hike up after swimming all day was brutal/ brings lots of water. Also may not be the best hike for a dog.

A little hard to find the trail at the end of the loop, but we managed it! There are some rocky parts, but overall it was very doable and there were lots of families on the trails closer to the parking lot.

off road driving
2 days ago

Awesome awesome trail. Couple of really technical spots. Need a lifted vehicle if you’re going to protect your undercarriage. Takes about 4 hours total, so bring a lunch and lots of water and enjoy the drive. Awesome views, love everything about this trail.

2 days ago

Fantastic hike!

Scenic driving, very curvy, can be tight in a few areas. Still very enjoyable!

Excellent trail, though I made a few modifications.
Went clockwise and was surprised how easy the Y-Bar trail was to follow after my last bushwhacking adventure in Deer Creek.
Note: at about 4.5 miles and after making it up over the 6’300’ elevation ridge I noticed that I had gone off track while following an obvious trail. I chose to backtrack to the point where you’re supposed to descend towards the Y-Bar basin. I spent 5 minutes looking for a fork in the trail and couldn’t find a way down...so I decided to follow the obvious trail which kept me closer to Mazatzal Peak. It’s possible that the original trail is completely overgrown...so prepare for a bushwhacking/pathfinding adventure if you want to do the trail as the map suggests!
On the way to Barnhardt Trail my gps wanted to lead me off trail again, but I chose to follow the obvious trail and that worked. I chose to follow Barnhardt Trail all the way down, though my map suggested going down through a wash instead.
I ended up clocking about 16 miles and 3,200’ elevation change...and the trail suggests 4,000’ elevation change which I believe might be true if following the gps closer instead of the trails I took.
Great adventure, and the waterfall on Barnhardt Trail wad running after all the recent rain!

We did this trail yesterday, starting at 6:56 a.m. I highly recommend starting early to stay out of heat and for the gorgeous sunrise you encounter on the drive out. Starting early also let us see 2 deer and 1 wild boar. The first decision is whether to go counter-clockwise (CCW) or clock-wise (CW). If you go CCW you will have a gentler ascent , but a rocky, steep decent. If you go CW you will climb steeply , but your desent will be gentler. Which ever works best for your body is what you should do. I think the moderate rating is accurate, mostly due to length, not due to tecnicality. For either direction, you will find the following helpful: long pants or zip-offs, good boots or trail shoes, poles, water, snacks, sunscreen. For the rest of this I will comment on the CCW direction as that is what we did. CCW, you have a gentle incline on ascent with a good trail, and great views. About 1/2 way through you get to the streams. Around the streams you encounter knee-high grass which often obscures the trail. I would not step blindly onto the path without using a pole to beat around checking for rattlers as they were out yesterday. We encountered one who alerted us of his discontent. Also KEEP YOUR DOG ON A LEASH so it does not get bit and just out of courtesy to others. Someone mentioned that this trail gets boring. We did not find that at all. Again about 4 miles in, the topography changes and you get more streams and a greater variety of vegetation, but that only last a little while then the awesome mountain views are back. This is also the same area where the grass has overgrown the trail so you need to be on vigilant snake alert. The cactus and ocotillo were all so pretty and lush. You will want your long pants here or you WILL end up with lots of scratches from the plants crowding the trail. The descent is steep and rocky so poles and good shoes/boots will be very helpful on the slippery scree. Going CCW, just remember to bear left. The trail is relatively easy to follow Sometimes you have to walk through a stream bed or cross a stream more than once to pick up the trail, watch for carins, but if you don't see them, just explore around close to the last known trail and you will spot it. Don't go off on a trail you aren't sure about without considering the options and using a little common sense. I'm not sure how people got so lost as some stated. We did use the All Trails app to confirm we were still on track a few times, but overall didn't think following the trail was hard. I feel the trail is a bit longer than stated, but unfortunatley forgot my watch so did not track it. My GPS said we had gone 324 miles...so apparently I forgot to reset that! LOL. My phone said 12.4 miles, but I know that isn't right. My hiking sense and the time said it felt more like 9 miles. We weren't trying to set any speed records, stopped for snacks a couple times, and took lots of pictures and we were on the trail about 5 1/2 hours.

Pretty easy going up to the spring, but past that it can be challenging to stay on the main trail due to overgrowth and limited use. Also, that last leg to Rim Road is rather steep and rocky. Nice views near the top though. Saw some elk to the side of the trail on the way out around dusk, then a deer as I drove from the trailhead out to the highway.

Well maintained trail with lots of great views of Saguaro Lake, as well as Four Peaks and even Flatiron in the distance.
Nice change from the typical Phoenix desert hike, and though the trail is fairly flat, there is just enough elevation change to keep things interesting and to improve the views.
I saw a couple of wild horses at the trailhead. Beside that I barely saw any trash on the trail. Someone must have come through and cleaned up after the party pig summer crew!

Beautiful morning trail run. Decently marked and trails are well defined. All trails has it listed as 5.7 and Garmin Forerunner 935 had the run at 6 Miles.

Cool location

so much fun, plenty of terrain from easy to expert.


10 days ago

irst off there is no parking at the trail head. You have to drive half a mile down the road to park and walk along the busy road. Second there was wayyyy too much dog s$#! On the trail. Come on people kick it off the trail at least. Like every one else said there are lots of mountain bikers but they are courteous. The best part about the hike was the ridge trail portion. It was beautiful. But too much road walking and dog poop for my liking.

Really nice short in and out trail leading to some breathtaking views and some interesting ruins. We had the place to ourselves it was lovely

11 days ago

We took a left at the first fork (at the Maricopa trail sign). It takes you up the hill with very nice views. Made it for sunset. The view of the river winding through the mountains toward downtown was stunning. My camera phone just couldn't be capture the beauty. You can easily make the trail into a loop which takes you down to a wash and back to the parking lot.

12 days ago

This was a great easy hike. We went in October, after A LOT of rain and the stream was running loudly. It was a truly sensory experience, the air was cool and crisp, it smelled so good and sweet, the stream was rushing noisily. The ground was soft from recent rains, so the ground was soft, but it really wasn't slippery muddy. It's a great trail for exploring because you can venture somewhat here and there away from the trail. There is a lovely memorial to the three year old who was killed along with many members of her family in 2017 when a storm hit, causing a flash flood that swept away several members of a family. When we finished the downstream trail, we turned around and walked upstream-both ways were pretty awesome.

Did the trail in October. Weather was great cold at the start but warmer near bottom. Some tricky spots and not for younger kids. The hike down was pretty easy but back out sucked the energy out of you. At the bottom the river was flowing and sound of water was relaxing

Really enjoyed this trail. The runoff from rains here recently added a lot of character to the trail. What is usually a dry wash was at times knee deep of fast moving water today.

Driving to it is a little rough even though through neighborhoods. In all honesty without the water features the recent rains provided this would probably be a 3-4 vs a 4-5.

I have done Fossil Creek through Camp Verde but my kids and I were anxious to complete the hike through Strawberry. We could not have picked a better day for this hike on 8.25.18. We went with a group of 13, ages 8-45 and thankfully, everyone survived and had an amazing time. We were blessed with dark clouds the entire day though it never rained. The hike is definitely a workout but the views and waterfall at the end were absolutely worth it. Spent about 4 hours cliff jumping and swimming. Definitely bring food as you will want to sit and enjoy the scenery and the water. The hike out was a challenge for my 8 year old as it was very steep and it definitely got my heart rate up. If you have young kids, I would recommend the hike through Camp Verde and save this one for the older kids. Would absolutely do this hike again next summer!

This was a beautiful and easy hike. Completed it with a group ages 8-42 and everyone did great. Ended up picking a day in July that was perfect. Cloudy with rolling thunder and a light sprinkle made this hike through the pines absolutely beautiful. Take some snacks or lunch and enjoy it while eating next to the creek.

Trail was easy. Just rained so had to cross cross a lot of streams. Nice walk with amazing boulders and didn’t even make it to the end. (Too much water)

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