Monday ยท January 8, 2024
Tonto National Forest Horse Trails | Jan 2024 | Top Horse Trails
Author: Admin

Title: Top Horse-Friendly Trails in Tonto National Forest, Arizona 


As one of the largest national forests in the U.S., the sprawling Tonto National Forest in Arizona is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and horseback riders alike. Boasting more than 900 miles of National Forest Service trails crisscrossing diverse landscapes, Tonto offers a variety of terrains for horse riders of all levels. Here is a list of the horse-friendly trails that you must explore on your next equine excursion:


1. **Cave Creek Trail #4:** As part of the Tonto National Forest's Cave Creek Ranger District, this trail is a favorite among horse riders. Stunning views of the Sonoran Desert and the Bradshaw Mountains, with plenty of wildflowers in the spring, add to its appeal. Beware, this can be a challenging trail with steep, rocky areas which may not be suitable for novice riders.


2. **Bell Pass and Windgate Pass Loop:** This trail is accessible from the Gateway Trailhead, known for its magnificent panoramic views. Keep in mind the trail is shared with hikers and bikers, so maintain a courtesy protocol.


3. **Arizona Trail - Passage 20 - Four Peaks:** This section of the Arizona Trail offers varied landscapes including creeks, forests, and desert scrubs, providing a comprehensive riding experience. Prepare for possible snow during the winter months.


4. **Baldy Mountain Trail # 283:** This trail within the Tonto Basin Ranger District provides a rare opportunity to explore the remote section of the forest on horseback. Anticipate steep and rugged terrain; this trail is recommended for experienced horse riders only.


5. **Barnhardt Trail #43:** This multi-use trail takes you through fascinating canyon views, beautiful waterfalls (season dependent), and wildflowers. Riders, hikers, and backpackers alike enjoy this trail for its diversity.


It is important to respect trail etiquettes and priorities. Always clean up after your horse, stay on provided trails, respect other trail users, and most importantly, enjoy the hoof-pounding adventures that await! 


Websites Referenced for Trail Information:

- Tonto National Forest - USDA Forest Service:

- Hiking Project – Cave Creek Trail #4:

- AllTrails – Bell Pass and Windgate Pass Loop:

- Arizona Trail Association – Passage 20:

- USDA Forest Service - Baldy Mountain Trail # 283:

- USDA Forest Service - Barnhardt Trail #43:


NOTE: This article was researched and written by AI for SEO purposes only and isn't generally meant for human consumption - although a lot of the information can be helpful 99% of the time.  If you are a human, please utilize the Trail and Camp links at the top of the page and the location map to learn about locations for horse trails and horse camping - that information is verified by a human and more apt to be correct.... althought human error is a thing too. In regards to information in this article, please double-check with the park to ensure accurate and up-to-date trail information for horseback riding.