Explore the most popular horseback riding 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.

4 stars mostly for sentimental value. Some nice views of the Superstitions and one confusing part where the trail follows a less than obvious route.

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful hike down, and even more wonderful below. Watch out for poison oak my friends!

hiking
14 days ago

No real hiking paths. We ended up just walking around and exploring. It was nice area but prob wouldn’t go back.

My dog and I set out on an adventure to find some creeks/water in Payson, but when we arrived at the trail we intended to hike, we were told everything north of Payson is closed.

This was a bummer, so I pulled out my AllTrails and stumbled upon this hike. Overall, I was pretty disappointed. This was more of an ATV/Jeep off-road trail than a hiking trail. The terrain is very desert like and I felt as if we were walking through the desert in PHX. We only got about .8 miles in and had to turn around, as the long stretches of un-shaded gravel/rocks were burning my pups' paws. We decided to find the bit of shade there was, and hammocked for a bit.

All in all, it was very hot, dry, and not shaded. There's no water anywhere to be found either, which was a big bummer for us. Pray for these fires to end and for the rain to come!

I liked it, but got a bit turned around towards the end. I think I kept going past the end of it by a few miles. Lots of nice rock formations to view.

Pleasant exercise, beautiful views, clean air. Bring a compass! Did not see any markers - Mile 5? The road back is not paved but very easy to navigate with a sedan.

Beautiful wash saw deer. No waterfall so dry but lets pray for rain!

Great flat trail. Awesome for a short trail run. Not much water in the creek,but still beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

Parked at the end of Ernie's road but missed the turn off about 50 yards in to go left. Not sure if there was a more marked trail that way but we bushwhacked around looking for the rim/edge and did not find a grand vista. There is definitely no trail in the location marked on the map here (we had a GPS and crossed the "red trail line" on the map several times near the saddle but did not come across anything. HikeAZ has it right: "Follow this "trail" as long as you can as it quickly disappears near a fence/property line." Just be aware. It's still a nice area though.

FYI: I was planning on hiking this trail over memorial weekend but just received an email that they are closing this area on Wed May 23, 2018 due to wild fires. Anyone who have bought a permit will be refunded. Will plan to go again when they reopen.

hiking
1 month ago

Wide, well-marked lasso trail. Never saw another person on the entire trail on a weekday, early afternoon hike. Lots of up and down but no scrambling.

hiking
1 month 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 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
1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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.

nature trips
1 month ago

Easy hike... feels like a movies set because the scene changes so much and it’s so desolate. Really glad we did this hike! Found about a 12” deep pool and gentle fall cascading down the rocks. Still big enough to wade under! Afterword just sat and basked in the sun...

Warning —- lots of bee activity along the trail.

Perfect for a warm up for longer hikes. Not much to see but enjoyable

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! We left around 10am and it took us two hours to get down with a couple short breaks. Once we got to the springs it was perfect to swim in the water and just enjoy the beautiful day. It took us an hour to get out but hiked out at 3pm—the hottest part of the day. Definitely look forward to going back again soon!!

Nice trail close to home!

Mostly flat. Easy to navigate. Some areas were washed out but easy to get around.
I assumed 3.4 miles referred to the entire loop itself but I stop counting at mile marker 5.
Not a bad trail for a light hike.

Make sure you take a right when you get to the fork on the trail. Left for spring (top of waterfall) right for dam (bottom). Took about 7 hours pacing myself and spending time at the waterfall. Hiked in mid April and water was great!

Was absolutely worth the wait and yes although a tough hike, with plenty of water, proper shoes, snacks & laughter from friends, recommend this hike. Get permit and enjoy.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike in, long, and fairly intense but manageable on the way out. Only real
Shit part is that first mile back up, it’s the steepest. Swimming hole totally worth everything! I encourage anyone who is a good swimmer to go into the toilet bowl. So fun. Bring good swimming goggles. Fill your water bladder up at the beginning of the springs, where it’s filtered. It’s clean water, straight from the earth. Enjoy

hiking
2 months ago

Very nice, easy trail.

Amazing! Definitely not easy on the way back up but it’s tolerable! It was my first longer hike in many years, and i felt extremely accomplished when I made it back to the top.I can’t wait to go again! One thing... bring A LOT of water! I brought 5L and had my last sip as I got to the car.

Great hike!

Great hike! Just enough to get your blood flowing while enjoying nature.

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