Explore the most popular wild flowers trails in Tonto National Monument with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Good workout. Took me 2’40”. Used 1 quart of h2o. No issues with getting lost or losing the trail. Lots of loose gravel and rocks made it a little difficult on some of the descents.

Directions from JP and Chrissie T were super helpful. Found the embankment and deer fence without any trouble, trail into the wooded area, clearly marked! Then a little confusion...... until we looked down and noticed the arrow, after that, stunning views into the canyon, stopped at several points to take pictures, the trail going down, and back up not as difficult as we anticipated, we just took our time both directions. Would have spent more time in the water and it not been SO cold!!!

hiking
22 days ago

Mile marker 271, pull right and park. Pass gate and cross cattle bars, stay straight into open field until the orange/white "caution type" sign and cairn, or Karen as I called her and called out to her many times seeking direction along the way. At one point I saw Karen perched high on the edge of a cliff and I just had stop there because I didn't see a realistic way to reach her. At this point we did see rock climbers which was pretty impressive. I would have liked to see more but it just seemed too risky. This hike is physically challenging and makes you have to consider which choices are best to make. I liked that, but the lack of water actually falling from the rocks and the nasty water pool, I really have no desire to go back. But, glad I did it. One liter of water was enough for our 2 hour hike. It would have been better in more supportive shoes, but we managed in our Nike's.

Great directions lovely hike

Short but steep walk up. Path is paved and well maintained. Well worth it for the views at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Seems like an ideal place for picnics. Wouldn't recommend bringing dogs.

Nice paved trail. A little steep, so flip flops not recommended going back down. Benches all along the way to rest of enjoy the view.

Great walk up to the cliff dwellings. I am 74 but had no trouble getting up. Lots of benches to rest on. Beautiful views,

hiking
3 months ago

A nice hike indeed, a dangerous one if not careful. Hard to find since road was moved! More like 18 miles from Payson, near mile marker 271, right before the green roof cabin at the Boy Scout camp on the right. Do not go if rain is expected and save for summer months when hypothermia is not a threat. The rocks at the base are slick even when dry and many an air vac have rescued those who fell and broke or became stranded going up on the other side. Be sure to stay left when you come to the cliffs. Some people scramble down the cliffs on the right but it is dangerous. There is a much clearer path if you stay left which is a slower, safer descent to the mouth of the canyon. Once there look downstream and know that all of that can be safely traversed if careful. Suggest crossing the narrow stream at the bottom of the descent at the now “top” of the canyon and look for the easy scramble down the first rock face to the water. Continue safely exploring by swimming downstream a bit to next speck of dry rock. Stay within ability to climb back up; small dogs not suggested, but strong ones who swim can make it. Stay safe!

4 months ago

So close to the highway and so beautiful! I was grateful for the trail description from Chrissie here because it is not marked and we likely would have turned back had we not had those details.

Very nice trail. Paved all the way, great views, and amazing to see how they lived in 1400 AD.

on Box Canyon Trail

hiking
6 months ago

We parked on the side of the freeway and climbed up the embankment you can clearly see where you walk up not hard to find. After a short walk you will see a fence... go under the fence ...first part of the trail is flat.. trail itself is not marked stay straight and look for a very small incline up and a ledge..once you hit the ledge follow the path down to the left. The decline is steep lots of flat large rock's be careful. We saw mountain climbers training and practicing.. follow the trail down keep going it's a short hike down but remember what goes down must come up. Once you get to the bottom the view is amazing. Very enjoyable hike bring water and snack if you just want to hang out at the bottom and enjoy the view for a bit. Reserve water for the very steep incline UP you will need it. Overall it was an amazing hike.

off road driving
6 months ago

Great trail! Did it with my friend, we both drive built 100 series land cruisers. Both of us used our rock slides twice. Come prepared and so long as an experienced driver drives all will be fine. Minimum of 2 vehicles and carry proper recovery gear!

Do you need a permit to hike this???

Bridge is closed. Trail is supposed to be closed but someone opened the gate Trail is destroyed. All I can say is don’t do it !!!!!!!!
Don’t read old reviews the trail is not the same

Beautiful, quick hike. start from coordinates given by alltrails, which is off to side of highway. entry is up the embankment (~12 feet). 3 min after you find the trail, you go under a fence. flat walking for next but, great scenery as you start to see the canyon, and then the trail goes down to the waterfalls. somewhat steep descent on smooth rocks. small waterfall and pool. return ascent gets heart rate going.

Just wanted to let people know the 2 photos with the long log is called water wheel/Ellison creek in payson.

off road driving
10 months ago

Took the Jeep out, had a great time! Trail gets very narrow, don't expect to come out unscathed. Recommend having a good driver, dicey obstacles for about 5 miles of the loop- challenging!

Could only get to the lower cliff dwellings but it was still pretty amazing. The hike up can be strenuous depending on what you are used to. Just be aware in case there are kids or older adults in the group! There will be a fee at the entrance since it's a national monument. If you want to see wildflowers, go in late March/early April.

off road driving
11 months ago

Really great trail! Beautiful views and interesting abandoned mines and equipment. The trail has gotten harder over the past few months though. It's still fairly easy to get to the main mine area, but to do the whole loop has gotten very difficult. I have a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon with a 2.5" lift and 35" tires and It was harder than anything I would do again. I made it out with minimal damage, but it wasn't easy. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone that doesn't have a serious off-road vehicle.

trail running
Friday, May 05, 2017

Red rocks, beautiful country.
The trail is more of a 4wd road and are a little easy to get off track on as there are no signs.

hiking
Sunday, April 30, 2017

Wow, incredible to be on this scared land. Interesting part of Indian Culture.

hiking
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Beautiful trail! Starts out pretty flat terrain, then you start down a beautiful rock trail along the mountain side. Pretty quick hike to get the blood pumping. Finding the trail is not easy. The map with start you on the side of the road (hwy 260), park before the guardrail, climb up the dirt embankment and you'll find little dirt trails you can tell people have used. When you come to the fence look for the hole and climb under. Then it's pretty easy from there. Just follow the dirt/rock path to the creek. If you want to get in the water, bring water shoes.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Lower dwelling are good 3 stars but the upper is much better hence the 4 star rating. Biggest issue is getting a spot on the weekend for the hike it is ranger guided only access. Not a difficult hike and a slow pace with the ranger talks which are very informative. Our 4 year old did it without issue so don't let the ranger description scare you off.

hiking
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Nice hike. it was paved with many benches along the way. I took my little brother. It was very steep but thats excepted as you are going up a cliff lol.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Fun walk! It's a paved walk, not really a hike, and super quick. The dwellings are great and the view is beautiful! This would be great for families and child-outings. Fun to see as a visitor to AZ

off road driving
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Great trail! Fairly difficult in areas with beautiful views in between. The mine area is a great place to get out and have lunch. Trail took us about 6 hrs to complete with an hour of that being a lunch stop. The trail is narrow in many places that would make it difficult for a full size 4x4. All in all a great experience.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Beautiful quick hike down to a quiet paradise. I had the place all to myself and took a quick swim in the freezing water! Lots of great rocks to climb. And a few small waterfalls.
The trailhead was not very clear but if you park just before the guardrail, get out of your car and climb up the embankment right there, it's a quick scramble up. Then follow the path to the deer fence and crawl under.

Friday, October 07, 2016

The destination is lovely! The parking/trail leaves much to be desired. Access to the "trail head" is on a large highway shoulder. That is, there is no official parking lot- you're merely pulled off to the side of the highway. Steep incline scramble off the shoulder to a rough trailhead. After a brief walk there's a clearing and you'll need to find a small rock-lined path that will take you to a footpath. Short but rocky decline to the creek. Final destination is very pretty! Summertime swimming-hole for sure. This time of year it was temperate and peaceful. Luckily I hiked with someone who had been there a few times before; I'm not confident I'd know the path in/out otherwise.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Hard to find the trailhead, You can park on 260 just north of where the guard rail ends. Scramble up the embankment and follow the trail to the left. Crawl under the deer fence and follow the trail down to the water.

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