Lower Salt River Nature Trail

EASY 156 reviews

Lower Salt River Nature Trail is a 2.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Mesa, Arizona that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
49 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

road biking

walking

beach

forest

river

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
1 month ago

The trail itself to me was boring. And with the noise pollution of other park goers with kids, it's easy to be detracted. BUT, the horses. (sigh) And sometimes horses in the river playing around. There's just something about the horses that brings me back to this trail almost quarterly. Every time I go, I sit for a solid 30-60 minutes watching them. I typically always bring out-of-towners here if we have time, because the horses are so special and it's not a trail you need hiking or trail shoes for.
If you're not into wild horses, look for a trail elsewhere.
The horses are (unfortunately) people-friendly because idiots feed them. Last year, sadly, someone shot two of them. My point is that these horses are trusting and will come close to you. So please don't give them reason to fear by acting loudly around them; be respectful that you're in their habitat as only a visitor. And, PICK UP YOUR TRASH, this includes orange rinds and apple cores. Do not feed the horses!!
The parking lot is quite large, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding a spot.

hiking
2 months ago

Badly badly marked, maybe not at all, more just weaving little sandy trails. Half the time we dead-ended in the river or bushes. Very little shade on the trails that are accessible. Busy spot for the river, bbqs and little rc cars. The river was gorgeous and we saw a small herd of horses and a big bull across the water! Pretty wild flowers and trees too.

hiking
3 months ago

this was a bad hike. there is horse poop everywhere. although we saw some horses it was smelly and there were a lot of flies.

hiking
4 months ago

Not well marked. Sometimes we did not even know where the trail was. Very limited water views. Disappointing.

5 months ago

Despite the beauty of the water, this trail is not well maintained and trash is omnipresent. Loud music and very little reason to ever go back. The one star is for the roadrunner that we saw.

hiking
6 months ago

This "trail" was not really a trail. No signage, no markers.
Just dirt trails that bifurcated everywhere. The area suffers from years of neglect by the Forest Service. But, if you want to see horses, they are certainly around.

7 months ago

Not well maintained. Very little “nature”. It’s a walk in the Desert. The water pics are not on the main trail.

7 months ago

Great beginner trail however we hike it frequently just for a chance to see the horses , also it’s close to our home . Seeing . them definitely makes the hike worthwhile.
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hiking
7 months ago

I was expecting a lot more from this hike based on other reviews. If you are looking for a beautiful hike THIS IS NOT IT. I hike every weekend in Arizona and know there are plenty other trails that are easy and gorgeous.

nature trips
7 months ago

This was an easy hike, even for my 9 year old. Unfortunately we did not see any horses, only massive amounts of poop and the skeletal remains of a horse we found slightly off trail. We found a wonderful area for a picnic by the river off trail which doesn't seem to get many visitors. We saw some fascinating birds, including a roadrunner in the parking lot. Lots of creepy trees on this trail. Very mystical. The loop back is typical desert- not very interesting. Will definitely visit this trail again however I'll turn around halfway rather than loop back.

8 months ago

Didn't see an horses but it was a nice hike.

hiking
8 months ago

nice shady walk. came right up to the herd of horses eating in the Mesquite grove. very cool.

hiking
8 months ago

This is a great beginner trail that is well worth the hike. There is a-lot of beauty all around from the wild horses that wander to the water to the Beautiful Mount McDowell. The trail features plaques with information about some of the trees in the are which are great but definitely need a bit of maintenance and love. Be careful to pay attention to all of the trail signs as there are many areas where others have blazed their own trails.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike. Easy, with nice views and wildlife. It must have been my lucky day...saw 8 horses and a roadrunner. Paths have a lot of horse poo but it's easy to dodge.

hiking
8 months ago

Great easy hike with wild horses and awesome bird watching.

8 months ago

Of course there’s horse poop everywhere - there’s WILD HORSES everywhere. And it’s awesome!! There’s lots of trails that do lead to nothing but it’s interesting because some of these areas seem to be the shelter for these horses. I took my pup and boyfriend and talked to fly fisherman along the banks. It was an amazing experience AND you should do it. Seeing those horses was magical and sharing it with my family made the whole world disappear. And as for the trash - you can’t control what everyone else does. Just pick it up : be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

walking
8 months ago

This trail was a bit tough to find the beginning, later we noticed a couple start markers down. lots of "on your own" trails made it confusing. the beginning & end is to the furthest corner of the parking lot.

I enjoyed the river side mostly as there was more bird activity and the water views were beautiful. there is a high level of horse droppings as people said but easy to walk around.

I should have paid more attention to sand comments because my Keen Uniques which I wear a lot on easy trails filled up with little rocks continually.

I really enjoyed the interpretive parts learning just a bit more about the area and think if you did this at different times of the year you would see a variety of things.

8 months ago

I’ve been to many beautiful places in Arizona but this trail is no good. Salt river is a gorgeous river, but this trail doesn’t really go near it much unless you cut trails.

Perfect hike to do with the wife / kids/ Dog whatever you want stay on trail or be a trail blazer great views love this trail

hiking
9 months ago

Some nice scenery but mostly walking on loose sand which is akward.

hiking
10 months ago

This trail was kid friendly and we saw wild horses which was pretty neat. There is however, a lot of horse poop and we also saw a lot of garbage unfortunately. Overall, I would do this hike again with my kids though. It’s very beautiful. When I went it wasn’t too busy. We went around 1pm.

hiking
10 months ago

horse poop everywhere and so much traffic the trail has turned into power. I did this Trail less than 6 months ago and it was in way better shape. I wouldn't drive across town for this hike but if you're close it's nice to see and hear the river.

10 months ago

Great for a trail run.

10 months ago

Nice trail well marked, relatively flat, opportunities to see wildlife and nice view of Red Mountain.

hiking
11 months ago

Nice hike for a relaxing Monday afternoon

hiking
Saturday, September 02, 2017

Easy trail. Beautiful scenery, nice to see it growing back since the fire. Watch for rattle snakes, we found a 3 foot rattler sunning on the trail; we named it Gary.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Great hiking and beautiful river to cool off in. Tons of lizards!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Super pretty trail and more green than what you'd normally find in Arizona. The trails weren't marked very well but it wasn't too hard to figure it out & it was pretty fun to make our own path for some of it. Not hard at all and super family friendly

hiking
Friday, May 26, 2017

The trails are not marked well. Our visit was cut short with a big ole rattler in an over grown bush next to the trail. To bad the trail couldn't be kept up better and marked clearly.

hiking
Tuesday, May 09, 2017

had a great day on the l9wer salt got to take a really cool photo of a Cooper hawk

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