Explore the most popular lake 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.

2 days ago

We had a great hike. was short and was finished in 1 1/2 hours and we stopped a bunch of times. trail is difficult to find most the time, but what makes that ok is your walking along the river and you can blaze your own way. passed about 8 families along the way and a group fishing in a large area with about 6 fish on their stringer. it's may 20 and temp was good.(80 degrees)

Watch out for snakes we hit an area about 2 miles in where we came across a constrictor on the way out and a rattler on the way back right on the trail. Almost stepped on both they were camouflaged so well !! Love this hike for interval training.

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

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.

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

We went early to avoid heat and foot traffic. The beginning of the hike was in shade which was nice. Hiked to shoreline access which it really wasn't and path gets tight. Either go to Burro or stop at campers cove and return. Path gets busy after 10 am. The views are nice of the lake. Met a few rattlesnakes sunning themselves to boot.

Fun, beautiful, water to cool down by or in, lots of twists and ups & downs. Be sure to bring lots of water. We gave a couple bottles up to people that were struggling.

hiking
1 month ago

It was fun. Yesterday my friend and I really enjoy it a lot. Like the below say there’s narrow trail a lot cactus by the trail but you can walk thru just to be careful. There is couple climbs I was nervous about but friend of mine help me guide. Not too bad tho. Just my balance was not too well I will definitely come back. Perfect weather tho 80s. There’s shade where you get surrounded with tree it’s beautiful

Love it, beautiful view.

Awesome trail. I rate easy trail with moderate elevation.. Bonus we seen the wild horses on the end of our hike playing in the lake.

off road driving
1 month ago

Best place to get some Arizona pin stripes on your truck.

hiking
1 month ago

Picturesque in sections. Good diversity in landscape. Powerboats can be noisy. Wild horses at the trailhead were a highlight.

One of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done. It's moderate, fairly easy in spots, with amazing views of the lake the entire time. It can be narrow in spots, but everyone was friendly in letting our group by. Lots of places for taking a dip or enjoying a picnic. We ended up hiking just over 7 miles without even realizing it! Make sure you buy your Tonto pass before you get there!

One of the great benefits to hiking Butcher Jones is you get to hike alongside Saguaro Lake, me and my friends arrived at the trailhead around 10AM and it wasn't too hot, just enough of a breeze to make it enjoyable. It's a lightly trafficked trail, perhaps it was because we went during the week. There were certain parts of the trail where we did get bottlenecked behind large groups of people, so if you're a fast hiker definitely try to get ahead of those big groups to avoid getting behind the pack. The trail has a light elevation gain, so it's a good trail to get your hiking legs back under you. Definitely worth the hike especially if you like looking at lakeside views.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy and nice trail has beautiful views.

This was an amazing little gem of a hike right outside the Valley! We brought our small dog and had a wonderful time enjoying the views. We went the whole route and felt the very end of the trail was not as beautiful as some of the other views we saw on our way. This would be a great location to spend the whole day and kayak, swim, or have a picnic after you finish the hike. We felt like it was very worth the $8.00 price tag.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely beautiful! Perfect spring day to hike this trail- water felt cool and refreshing too

Great trail and so beautiful

2 months ago

gets you from point A to point B. cool with regards to views of the lakes and the canyons, but the road is too narrow at many places for the amount of traffic there is.

hiking
2 months ago

A big group of us all took our dogs and we had a wonderful time on this trail. It’s not difficult and I would personally rank it as easy as opposed to moderate. You also get a nice view of the lake the entire hike which is where we stopped to eat lunch. At times, the trail is very narrow with cacti everywhere so I would recommend wearing long pants or being extra cautious in those areas.

hiking
2 months ago

My wife and I took our four boys (12,9,6,5) today, and it was a great experience. A lot of people along the way, but not enough to feel crowded. Clean trail. The climb aspect of it wasn’t too difficult at all, but a little rocky at some points. Usually we have tears, whining, and scrapped knees, but it was pleasant, and not too difficult for anyone.

hiking
2 months ago

We loved hiking along Saguaro Lake. We did 3 1/2 miles total or so in 1 1/2 hours with lots of stops for pictures and visiting with other hikers and a snack. We turned back before the end because many people saw a rattlesnake and I was afraid I'd scream. I've never seen one. Next time we'll bring chairs for after to dip our feet in the lake. We got our pass at a gas station before we got here. There's a list online of who carries them. We forgot the hiking stick and see many people had them. Trail had lots of hikers on a Monday morning but I like having hikers to help each other like at the beginning you get to a fence, and someone said go through, it's to keep horses out.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a fantastic family hike! I did it with my 3&6 year old along with a friend and her 2&4 year olds. We went about half way and back and enjoyed a dip in the lack afterwards! The trail offers exciting corners of lake feels, lake views almost the whole way, small rock challenges, and tree canopy spots. We loved it!

Great hike with a spectacular view. Must check it out if in Mesa.

Amazing views

hiking
2 months ago

This trail rewards you! Absolutely a must do
Trail is narrow. Have to watch for areas of large sharp rocks and thorny vegetation. You will get a very good cardio workout. One of the prettiest trails around
Went out at noon on a Monday. Lots of traffic in first mile but eventually was alone

The views are nice and the trail is moderate to easy. The trailhead is not at the point that is marked in the map and the length is closer to 9 miles than 6.5.. Also the trail is poorly marked at many points. We enjoyed it in general and the small beaches were a delight.

Great hike with gorgeous views. Trail is pretty narrow in some areas which can result in a back up of people. Make sure to stop at the Saguaro marina to get your day pass. The sign at the parking lot tells you to go all the way to Fort McDowell Casino.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice Trail. It has a variety of scenery with saguaro lake. Dog friendly. Purchase a Tonto Day pass BEFORE you get there. They don't sell them on site.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail was awesome with great views of the lake as well as the surrounding mountains. There are many photo opportunities for those who are into it. My wife and I really enjoyed this trail!

Load More