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Verde River Sheep Bridge to Tonto Hills

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Tonto National Forest

Verde River Sheep Bridge to Tonto Hills is a 40.6 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Black Canyon City, Arizona that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for ohv/off road driving and is best used from September until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 40.6 mi Elevation gain 5,606 ft Route type Point to Point
Dogs on leash Kid friendly Ohv / off road driving River Views Wild flowers Wildlife
Waypoints (1)
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    33.97318, -111.86678

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Reviews (25)
Photos (47)
Recordings (12)
Completed (62)
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John Chimenti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 25, 2020
Off Road DrivingRocky

I just got my first 4 wheel drive vehicle (Jeep Wrangler) and wanted something easy and interesting for the first time. Road was a little rough but really didn’t need 4 wheel drive. However you do need a vehicle that sits a little higher or you will bottom out. Great place to find the edges of a new Jeep and spend the day swimming, swinging off the rope swing, or camping. Not for hiking.

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Guylaine Cliche
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 19, 2020
Hiking

No hiking really. Super crowded. Tones of people day drinking heavily and playing loud music. Totally disappointed. Don’t go on a Saturday. Very long drive - took me 3 hrs in and 3 hrs out and I have a Jeep.

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Tiffany Burns
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 23, 2020
Hiking

It’s not for hiking, you have to drive there watch for idiots romping their vehicles flying around the corners on a cliff side, most people are good though. Rocky road so don’t take a regular car there, if you have baldish tires I’d bring a spare just Incase, but you should be ok if you’re watching, pretty views on the way in and a hot spring covered by bamboo to provide some privacy. Watch for nudists. The river and the bridge are pretty.

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Jillian @sweetsassyjilly
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 6, 2020
Hiking

It’s not really a hike, it’s a drive. You need high clearance and it’s a loooong, bumpy, muddy road with many miles where you cant go over 10mph. Would honestly be best for a jeep or quads to be driving. Anyway, if you can make it there you can enjoy a warm soak in a cute springs.

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Leza Owens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 19, 2019
HikingMuddyWashed out

I’m sure this is a lovely spot if you can make it there. The road in there is a 37 MILE LONG dirt road. Great, so it’s gonna take forever. You will need a 4-wheel drive if you going to make it more than 20 miles when the very hard, packed, rocky dirt road suddenly turns into muddy sludge so thick that a normal car, high clearance or not, absolutely can’t make it through and then you have to be rescued by hot cowboys and turn around and end a wasted day. So the moral of the story is don’t go after it’s rained and you probably need a 4x4 just to be safe.

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Clint Jacobsen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 24, 2018
Off Road Driving

Beautiful area. Nude people in the hot spring area. Careful if you have kids with you.

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Darren Mason
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 14, 2018

Cool location

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Sarah Ann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 24, 2018
Camping

beautiful spot! great hidden hot springs! great cliff jumping and rope swings! great spot for couples and kids!

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Keith Schettino
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 19, 2018

The spring was outstanding. We had it all to ourself. The area has most everything one could want including seclusion, wildflowers, birding, swimming, petroglyphs, a footbridge, the spring, and several varieties of butterfly when we were there which was September 17th 2018. The drive was picturesque and fun even if it is a little white knuckle in places. I do not recommend bloody basin road if you have any questions about the performance capabilities of your vehicle. The road through seven springs is much easier on your heart rate and the road remains two wide through 90% of the ride. Also Bloody Basin has an incredibly harrowing downhill section that was terrifying on the way up and had no guardrails. The great thing about going out that way though, is that you end up driving through agua fria national monument to get out. Lastly, the spring itself does not require you to cross the footbridge. it is quite easy to find if you are facing the bridge it is to your left just walk down to the bank and head down what looks like a deer path. One of the anchor points for the old bridge is a good marker for a path down to the reed tunnel. What an adventure! Snakes, bunnies, birds of prey line the bridge to compete with the fisherman who are catching fish the size of my arm. We were only disappointed by a miltary fly over and a lack of helicopter landings. This was our first alltrails experience and honestly it will be pretty tough to beat it.

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Crystal Anne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 19, 2018
Camping

This past weekend was my second visit to this location. My amazing dude was my escort both times. First trip: about this time last year on a Saturday into Sunday (we recollect). There were about a dozen people enjoying the creek from where we could see at our campsite. He swam, I didn’t - too cold for me. There was trash around the campsite (and scattered all around really) including a tampon and an applicator which was really phocking disgusting, people are awful. Once we got to the actual hot spring it had no other guests. We enjoyed it and decided to head back to camp. Almost at that moment, a group of hikers showed up to the tub. Perfect timing. Second visit: not a single car or voice that we noticed in the area of what we now consider our campsite. We awoke to the sound of a helicopter landing in the clearing, literally next to our tent and vehicle hidden by the cover of trees. The chopper was so close, sand blew in our tent. We greeted the pilot and occupant happily - they commented that they didn’t even see us! They fished a bit and left. We both went swimming but I abandoned the activity after my love was bitten in the butt by a fish! No thank you, good-bye creek swimming on this trip for this gal. I can hang but I have my limits. We sat by the water chatting, snacking, & watching the fish jump. They too must have seen the fisherman in the hilo depart. We found ourselves ready to nap on the shore in some shade, the two guys playing on inner tubes on the other side were the only other company to be seen or heard. A pair showed up on quads and moved on. We thought this day was too good to be true. This really was OUR spot. Suddenly disaster struck when one of the tube guys experienced a less than graceful expulsion from the rope swing and badly broke a leg. My guy, the helpful & conscientious person that he is, was able to fetch the quad guys whom just happened to have experience in this type of thing. It was a much more refreshing experience of humans than the beach tampon issue of last summer. Five stars. Check it out. Bring your own rope. See you out there trail folk!

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John Gaio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 13, 2018

No hot springs found from the other reviews. Roads are very rocky, 5 hours to Peoria.

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Leonard Leonard beltran
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 4, 2017

very long dirt raod.

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Corey Parkinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 17, 2016
Hiking

I made the drive out to the Sheep Bridge Hot Spring today. As others have stated, the road is long and very bumpy but I made it in my Outback just fine. I wouldn't take a vehicle down this road that isn't up for some abuse. It is similar to the Fossil Creek road but quite a bit longer. There has been some recent road maintenance on the last 11 mile section going down into the river. Even with the maintenance, the last 11 miles are extremely rough and require slow going but 4x4 isn't necessary. I drove in from I-17 and out through Seven Springs and both ways are incredibly scenic. The spring and tub are small but very unique and very neat. Someone spent some good time and effort creating the rock tub and it was a great experience to soak under the bamboo. I spent two hours in the tub and only heard one vehicle and no one bothered me. If you don't know about the spring you could come down to the bridge and not even know the tub is there. I can see this spot being very busy during certain times of the year and on weekends but today it was a perfect place of solitude and relaxation. This kind of spot is why I love living in AZ.

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Steve Blair
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 6, 2015
Nature trips

Here is a link to my movie I made while there https://youtu.be/t3c7kXIbsP8

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Steve Blair
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 6, 2015
Scenic driving

thanks to Curtis Wagners awesome directions down below We went in via Camp Verde and left towards I-17. My advice to anyone is take the Camp Verde directions and even stop in the rangers station at the Bartlet lake turn off for better maps and advice from the nice ranger who works there. The first 21 miles were absolutely beautiful and smooth driving with speeds avg from 20-40 mph. It got a little rougher the next 13 or so miles due to the heavy rain fall the day before 10-25 mph. It was the last 11 miles that reduced our speeds to 2-10 mph to avoid tire puncture due to the amount of river rock on the road. We even locked the medium clearance Subaru with low profile street tire into 4 wheel drive to pass through some of the deeper puddles. Any full size 2 wheel drive truck should be fine until you get below the bridge in the sandy area's. The trip is worth it if you like non crowded hiking camping and fishing. Water is deep enough for kayaks and is full of bass which can be seen from the bridge. There are rapids coming in and then about 400 yards away rapids going out. If you plan to camp bring firewood or an axe/chainsaw to cut up some of the many dead trees. Please pack your trash out and clean up what others left behind. It was not to bad. there are tons of places to camp on the sandy beaches down below the bridge and down river. Bring quads and you can explore for miles a long the river without seeing another human. Drive slow the last stretch because it will knock your fillings loose

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Pamela Sanders
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 3, 2015
Hiking

It was a long and bumpy ride in from seven springs campground (highly suggest high clearance vehicles -many people had trucks and razors). Although the ride was slow, it was beautiful. As soon as you reach the parking in front of the bridge, we all had a huge relief, YES! It was worth the drive. We went at the end of March 2015, the river was full of life, there was people jumping off the bridge having a blast. I had heard of the hot springs being close to the bridge, just north on the West Bank. We asked some people that go there often and they kept insisting we were talking about the springs 30 miles away. The spring (just one, it's a small tub of concreat, fits only 2) is fun to find. You can enter at the top right next to the bridge and walk down, or you can go back to the parking area, walk down the path to the river, head to your right and you will eventually see the tunnel of cat tails leading the way. I unfortunately was dehydrated so couldn't enjoy the full experience, but once we found it I felt like my mission was complete. I would definitely go back again, also, there are many camping spots there and along the way.

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Mark Leachman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 11, 2015
Camping

After seeing the people who frequent the Sheep Bridge area (which is littered with broken glass and shell casings) I have decided not to get into the "hot" springs.

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MC Corliss
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 2, 2020
Off Road Driving
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Russell Vaughn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 29, 2020
Hiking
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Jillian @sweetsassyjilly
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 3, 2020
Hiking
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Jeff Mayhew
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 13, 2019
Hiking
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Anthony Becerra
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Off Road Driving
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Dave Gustavo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 18, 2018
Hiking
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Danny Miller Jr.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 1, 2018
Hiking
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Benjamin Wilkerson
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 19, 2013
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