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Tonto National Forest Map

by Aakash singh

Tonto National Forest Map provides an unparalleled tool for exploring this remarkable region.

Tonto National Forest Map

Tonto National Forest

Tonto National Forest is the largest national forest in Arizona, the 9th largest in the United States (out of 154 USDA National Forests). These rugged and inherently beautiful places feature flatlands and Sonoran Desert cacti, slowly leading to the Mogollon Rim’s highlands.

The national forest is spread across a total land whose elevation ranges from 1,300 ft (Sonoran Desert) to 7,900 ft (Mogollon Rim). Thanks to this wide variation of landforms, it’s a wide range of recreational opportunities. With 3 million visitors annually, Tonto National Forest is the most-visited urban forest in the US. Multi-hued stone canyons and Sonoran Desert environments are the main attractions.

Places to Visit Nearby

  • The Apache Trail
  • Besh-Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park
  • Bullion Plaza Cultural Centre & Museum
  • Rim Country Museum & Zane Grey Cabin
  • Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park (just 1 hour away)
  • Tonto Natural Bridge State Park near Payson (just 1.25 hours away)
  • Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge (just 1.5 hours away)
  • Montezuma Castle National Monument in Camp Verde (just 2.1 hours away)
  • Tuzigoot National Monument near Camp Verde (2.5 hours away)

Things to Do

Tonto National Forest offers you excellent outdoor opportunities:

  • Exploring cliff dwellings
  • Observing various wildlife and vegetation
  • Learning about the history of Tonto Apache and Yavapai
  • Kayaking at Saguaro Lake in the Sonoran Desert
  • Enjoy beautiful scenic views of canyons, wilderness, and lakes as you drive the 39 miles of byway (Apache Trail Scenic Drive)
  • Hiking the Rim Lake Vista Trail to enjoy the picturesque views overlooking the Mogollon Rim
  • Bicycling
  • Camping and cabins
  • Fishing
  • Horse riding and camping
  • Hunting
  • Picnicking
  • OHV riding and camping
  • Water activities
  • Outdoor learning
  • Nature viewing


You’ll find around 160 hiking trails in Tonto National Forest. Some of the most popular trails are:

  • Flatiron via Siphon Draw Trail

    This 5.50 mile long challenging hike in the Superstition Mountain is only recommended for seasoned hikers. If you are looking for a much-needed break for breathtaking views from the top of the summit, Flatiron via Siphon Draw Trail is the best thing for you.

  • Butcher Jones Trail

    Butcher Jones Trail, located near Apache Junction, is a 5.8 mi (9.3 km) heavily trafficked out and back trail. This moderately challenging trail features a lake, perfect for fishing, nature tips, walking, and hiking.

  • Massacre Falls Trail

    Massacre Falls Trail near Fort McDowell is 5.4 mi (8.7 km) long and is considered moderately challenging. Enjoy this fantastic desert hike, with spectacular views, and a waterfall at the end of the trail.

  • Horton Creek Trail

    It takes you along Horton Creek past waterfalls. The winding path through the pines makes your walk worth it. This rugged and challenging trail near Payson is 8.6 mi (13.8 km) long and is perfect for backpacking, camping, running, and hiking.

  • Blue Wash Trail

    Located near Scottsdale, Blue Wash Trail is 2.8 mi (4.5 km) long and features a waterfall. It is best suited for horse riding and hiking.

  • Treasure Loop Trail

    Treasure Loop Trail is a heavily trafficked loop trail near Apache Junction that is 2.3 mi (3.7 km) long. This trail features beautiful wildflowers and is best for hiking and running. October-May is the best time to visit this trail.

  • Water Wheel Falls

    Water Wheel Falls trail is moderately challenging hiking near Payson that offers you beautiful views. You can continue your hike to reach Ellison Creek Cascades. Take this trail to get near Water Wheel campgrounds.

  • Picketpost Mountain Trail

    Yet another 4.2 mi (6.8 km) long mountain trail near Superior features beautiful wildflowers. You can enjoy Picketpost Mountain Trail any time of the year.

  • Praying Hands to Slot Rock

    Praying Hands to Slot Rock near Apache Junction is a 4.6 mi (7.4 km) long, challenging trail. This trail is best for horse riding, camping, walking, and hiking. October-June is the best time to visit.

  • Hawes Ridge Loop

    Located near Mesa, Hawes Ridge Loop is a challenging 3 mi (4.8 km) trail requiring good skill levels. Besides featuring beautiful wildflowers, it offers you many activity options.

Other trails in the six districts of Tonto national forest are:

  • Cave Creek Ranger District

    • Cave Creek Trail
    • Copper Camp Trail
    • Cottonwood CR. Trail
    • Davenport Wash Trail
    • Deadman Trail
    • Dutchman Grave Trail
    • Highwater Trail
    • Jojoba Trail
    • Lost Spr. Trail
    • Palo Verde Trail
    • Quien Sabe Trail
    • Red Hills Trail
    • Rock Creek Trail
    • Sears Trail
    • Sheep Creek Trail
    • Skull Mesa Trail
    • Skunk Tank Trail
    • Verde River Trail
    • West Fork Trail
    • Wet Bottom Trail
    • Willow Basin Trail
    • Willow Trail
  • Globe Ranger District

    • Bobtail Trail
    • Bull Basin Trail
    • Campaign Trail
    • Check Dam Trail
    • Cuff Button Trail
    • East Mountain Trail
    • Ferndell Trail
    • Haunted Canyon Trail
    • Icehouse Trail
    • Kellner Trail
    • LOST Trail
    • Paradise Trail
    • Pioneer Trail
    • Pipeline Trail
    • Sixshooter Trail
    • Spencer Trail
    • Telephone Trail
    • Tollroad Trail
    • Una Del Oso Trail
    • West Pinto Trail
  • Mesa Ranger District

    • Alder Creek Trail
    • Alder Saddle Trail
    • Ballantine Trail
    • Black Mesa Trail
    • Bluff Spring Trail
    • Boulder Canyon Trail
    • Brown’s Trail
    • Bull Pass Trail
    • Cane Spring Trail
    • Cavalry Trail
    • Coffee Flat Trail
    • Cornucopia Trail
    • Dutchman’s Trail
    • FireLine Trail
    • Four Peaks Trail
    • Frog Tanks Trail
    • Hieroglyphic Trail
    • Hoolie Bacon Trail
    • Jacob’s Trail
    • Little Saddle Mountain Trail
    • Lower Soldier Camp Trail
    • Pass Mountain Loop Trail
    • Peralta Trail
    • Peter’s Trail
    • Pine Creek Loop Trail
    • Plow Saddle Trail
    • Prospector’s Trail
    • Reavis Gap Trail
    • Reavis Valley Trail
    • Red Tanks Trail
    • Rogers Canyon Trail
    • Saddle Mountain
    • Second Water Trail
    • Slate Creek Divide Loop
    • Soldier Camp Trail
    • Terrapin Trail
    • Thicket Spring Trail
    • Two Bar Ridge Trail
    • Whiskey Spring Trail
    • Wind Cave Trail
    • Woodbury Trail
  • Payson Ranger District

    • Abbey’s Way
    • Abert Nature Trail
    • Babe Haught Trail
    • Barnhardt Trail
    • Bear Flat Trail
    • Bob Bear (formerly Fossil Springs) Trail-No. 18
    • Brody Seep Trail
    • Brush Trail
    • Bull Spring Trail
    • Colonel Devin Trail 290 and Railroad Tunnel Trail
    • Deadman Mesa Trail
    • Derrick Spur Trail
    • Derrick Trail
    • Drew Trail
    • East Webber Trail
    • Fisher Trail
    • Half Moon Trail
    • Hell’s Gate Trail
    • Highline Trail
    • Horton Spring Trail
    • Mazatzal Divide Trail
    • Mescal Ridge Trail
    • Midnight Trail
    • Myrtle Trail
    • North Peak Trail
    • Oak Trail
    • Pine Canyon Trail
    • Pocket Trail
    • Promontory Trail
    • Pump Station Trail
    • Red Rock Trail
    • Saddle Ridge Trail
    • Sandy Saddle Trail
    • See Canyon Trail & See Spring Trail
    • Sinkhole Trail
    • Turkey Trail
    • West Webber Trail
    • White Hills Route
  • Pleasant Valley Ranger District

    • Boyer Trail
    • Center Mountain Trail
    • Cienega Spring
    • Coon Trail
    • Creekside
    • Dan’s Trail
    • Deep Creek Trail
    • Grapevine
    • Hell’s Hole Trail
    • Jug Trail
    • Lucky Strike
    • McFadden Horse
    • Moody Point
    • Murphy Ranch
    • Park McFadden Trail
    • Parker Creek
    • Reynolds Creek
    • Rim
    • Valentine Trail
  • Tonto Basin Ranger District

    • Cemetery Trail
    • Chillout Trail
    • Cottonwood Trail
    • Davey Gowan Trail
    • Deer Creek Trail
    • Denton Trail
    • Gold Ridge Trail
    • Oak Flat Trail
    • Park Trail
    • Pigeon Trail
    • South Fork Trail
    • Sycamore Trail
    • Thompson Trail
    • Three Bar Route
    • Tule Canyon Trail
    • Vineyard Trail
    • Y Bar Trail


  • Tonto National Forest is spread across a total area of 2,873,200 acres (4,489.4 sq mi or 11,627 sq km).
  • It was established in 1905.
  • The primary animals found in this national forest are: Colorado desert raccoons, Mearns coyotes, New Mexico black bears, bald eagles, greater roadrunners, bobcats, Arizona skunks, long-eared owls, Coues’ white-tailed deer, desert mule deer, Western red-tailed hawks, North American barn owls, javelinas.
  • Three million recreational visitors visit the Tonto national forest annually.

Where is Tonto National Forest

Tonto National Forest is located in Arizona’s Pinal, Yavapai, Maricopa, and Gila counties. Check this Arizona National Parks Map to find Tonto National Forest on the Arizona Map.

Best Time To Visit

Spring and fall are the best times to visit this forest.

Visiting Hours

The Visitor Centre of Tonto National Monument remains open every day around the year from 8 am to 5 pm. It remains closed on December 25.


  • Tonto Daily Pass: US$8
  • Tonto Discovery Pass: US$80
  • Tonto Senior and Access Pass: US$60
  • Tonto Discovery Vehicle Sticker: Free
  • Watercraft Use Sticker: US$4
  • Christmas Tree Permit: US$15 per tree

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