Situated just north of Phoenix, Tonto National Forest in central Arizona is 5th largest national forest in the nation. It is really diverse and its landscape ranges from the Saguaro cactus-heavy Sonoran Desert in the south to tall pine tree forests of the Mogollon Rim in the north. There are eight wilderness locations inside Tonto National Forest:
- 4 Peaks Wilderness
- Hellsgate Wilderness
- Mazatzal Wilderness
- Pine Mountain Wilderness
- Salome Wilderness
- Salt River Canyon Wilderness
- Sierra Ancha
- Superstition Wilderness
In the winter, national and international guests flock to Arizona to share the multi-hued stone canyons and Sonoran Desert environments of the Tonto’s reduce elevations with Arizona residents. In the summer season, guests seek refuge from the heat at the Salt and Verde rivers and their chain of six man-produced lakes. Guests also head to the higher nation to camp amidst the cool shade of tall pines and fish the meandering trout streams below the Mogollon Rim.
1 exciting bit of history with Tonto National Forest is the mystery of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. In the late 19th century, a German immigrant by the name of Jacob Waltz identified a gold mine in the mountain variety but quickly right after fell ill and died. He apparently gave clues to his caregiver but the treasure-trove was in no way identified. Whereabouts unknown, quite a few think that it is hidden someplace in the Superstition Mountains and a curse falls on these who go seeking for it.
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Trailhead Traveler’s Encouraged Hikes in Tonto National Forest
- Butcher Jones Trail #463 – five. miles out and back
- As opposed to most of the hikes in Tonto National Forest, you are positive to see water on this trail with beautiful views of Saguaro Lake. Getting so close to the lake, you can count on to be joined by numerous other hikers along the way.
- Hieroglyphic Trail #101*** – two.eight miles out and back
- Straightforward trail that the entire household can do that will take you out in the Superstition Mountains to ancient petroglyphs.
- Horton Creek Trail #285 – 7. miles out and back
- This trail is a tiny additional out from Phoenix than the rest the trailhead sits close to the north boundary of Tonto National Forest. Nonetheless, it is a good alter of pace from the other desert hikes as you stroll by means of tall pines.
- Massacre Grounds Trail – five.three miles out and back
- Quite straightforward desert hike with classic views along the way. At the finish of the two.7 mile trail is a waterfall if there has been rainfall not too long ago.
- Peralta Trail to Fremont Saddle*** – four.five miles out and back
- Peralta Trail is pretty enjoyable and straightforward sufficient for the entire household to love if they can handle a tiny bit of the uphill. At the overlook, you can love an outstanding view of Weavers Needle and Tonto National Forest in the distance. Weavers Needle Loop continues on in a 12.7 mile loop if you want to continue for an extended hike.
- Picketpost Mountain Trail – four.two miles out and back
- Strenuous uphill trail that climbs two,000’ in elevation to the top rated of Picketpost Mountain. Waiting for you at the top rated is a bench and mailbox to leave a message in! The elevation acquire and difficulty locating the trail make this one particular for really serious only.
- Siphon Draw Trail #53 to The Flatiron*** – four.eight miles out and back
- Challenging hike that is not straightforward to navigate but the reward is outstanding. Just after the initial 1.five miles, you will start out scrambling up the rocky Siphon’s Draw till you attain the tip of Flatiron which delivers views more than Apache Junction Valley and Tonto National Forest from the edge of a 5000’ cliff. Note: the trail is not maintained previous a particular point so you will will need to know exactly where you are going!
- Treasure Loop Trail #56 – two.four mile loop
- This is a quick and somewhat flat trail that is excellent for a household hike. There are good views and good rock formations along the way.
- Wave Cave Trail*** – three. miles out and back
- Enjoyable and isolated hike off of the Superstition Ridgeline Trail that leads to a shaded cave with a distinctive wave-like rock formation that tends to make for a good image!
- Wind Cave Trail #281 – three. miles out and back
- This is a decent hike but not one particular to go out of your way for. The trail up to the cave is extra enjoyable than the actual cave which is extra of a shallow more than hang in the cliff than anything you could stroll in. If you are up for extra of a challenge, you can continue on to full the complete 9.four mile Peak of Interest Loop!
***Most Encouraged Hikes