Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

climbing the chute is not for everyone. take gloves. go slow. 3 points of contact at the sketchy parts. at 2 spots I basically had to do a pullup and was thinking how the hell am I gonna get down! when you go under the tree at what you think is the top, make a hard left to proceed up the last part. I left a beer at the top in the container. perfect fit! someone else brought the container and notepad. dont drink it, it gets windy and needs the weight! share your photos!

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.

I did this trail a few years ago and it is absolutly worth the difficulty. the Superstition Mountains are a wonder to behold. I would advise against doing this in summer. definitly a spring, fall or winter trail. bring lots of water and some binoculars.

Amazing time with family. Fun trail for kids 8 plus with hiking experience. Beautiful views we took tons of pictures.

Cool location

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

Great

hiking
7 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

hiking
8 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.

Super easy trail. It's pretty with almost panoramic views. The only issue I have is that you can hear traffic and if you walk far enough, you end up just outside of someone's backyard.

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.

Very nice hike up and fun run down! It’s better to have a high clearance vehicle for the dirt road but there were sedans and compact cars at the trailhead too. I can imagine that it could be treacherous toward the top during inclement weather.
There was a spot near the top where a group of us were clambering up a steep area , it seemed like doing a hanging pull-up was the only way to do it. We tried to help a hiker make a scary jump down from there... only to realize that some other hikers had found a simple walk around that area.

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)

Great trail, very scenic. I did the trail counter clockwise but would do it clockwise next time with fresh legs. Y Bar trail is rough and rocky and was a little overgrown when I went threw. Plenty of cairns to follow though. I logged 15.8 miles.

I may have been slightly not ready for this trail but did it anyways. Took the suggestion of going clockwise and happy with the choice. The big Up was kinda brutal but didn’t slow me down much. The views on this trail are incredible. The creek beds were all flowing thanks to the recent rain and fun to romp around in. I took my time and came in just under 5 hours. Only passed about 12 people going opposite direction. Came out measuring 9.4 miles as well. This was my longest hike yet and I think I managed alright. NO SHADE THO almost got me. It was only 79 degrees when I finished but I got a pretty nasty burn. Cant wait to do again when cooler out!

hiking
13 days ago

Great morning hike with the dog! Lots of mountain bikers but all really nice. Overall perfect for any level and great views of red mountain. Will do again.

Good morning hike! Had the trail all to ourselves

The roost is hard to find but it is truly scenic and not too hard. The first time I went there I was with a large group who knew the location. The second time I went after a heavy rain and it was very foggy. The fog actually made it kind of eerie in a cool kind of way.

Tapped out at the wall about 100’ from the summit and decided to live to tell the tale. Ah well, still an awesome hike and I’m sure that I’ll make it the next time.
Go slow and be safe...and yes, the dirt road is pretty bad. It’s a long drive from Mesa to Roosevelt Lake, but it’s worth it to drive less on the dirt road in my opinion.
I’ll be back!

Beautiful! We brought our kids on it and they did great. Our youngest was 2 and he had no problem at all.

Our group of 4 started out at 5:30 am in the dark with headlamps heading up Peralta Trail following a clockwise direction of this loop. Morning broke and revealed stunning views of Weaver's Needle and some hidden back country Superstition Wilderness gems. Stopped a few times for rest and drinks. Once you get near the half way point the trail becomes more overgrown with strands of spindly prickers and loose desert grass and the trail becomes more rocky as well. As the day wore on the sun became more intense. Saw two snakes, a small frog, a mule deer, and an uncountable amount of butterflies. The last half of the trail wears you out but the views are worth it.

Recommendations: bring plenty of water we each had 3 liters plus xtra bottles and we needed it all. Bring sun hat, sun screen, and i would advise chap stick.

I would do this hike again but next time I would just take a day pack to save the weight. ( we were fully loaded and training for a multi day back country trek in Zion ) Under our specific circumstances I would rate this hike as difficult.

Did this loop counterclockwise, but will do it clockwise if I do it again. Started at 8:00 and completed it in 3.5 hours, and was 95 degrees when I got back to the car. Beautiful views, only saw 4 other people out there, trail was well marked. Cairns show the way when there were wash crossings, and signs were at every trail intersection.

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