Since July 2, parts of the Tonto National Forest are closed to the public. But don’t worry—that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the great outdoors during these hot summer mornings! Lakes and river in Arizona access will remain partially open.
For water recreation, most spots remain open. Roosevelt, Canyon, Bartlett and Saguaro lakes are all open. Several Lower Salt River access points and day use sites remain open. These include Acacia, Blue Point, Boulder, Coons Bluff, Goldfield, Granite Reef, Laguna, Palo Verde, Pebble Beach, Phon D. Sutton, Saguaro del Norte and Water Users.
Hiking at Lost Dutchman State Park is permitted, with masks required for visitors. Some trails at Usery Mountain Regional Park remain open as well, including the trailhead staging area for day use.
Several forest roads will be open as well, including Bush Highway (FR 204), FR 19 to Bartlett Reservoir, FR 459A to Rattlesnake day use area, FR 459 to Yellow Cliffs and SB Cove day use area, FR 582 from SR 87 to Buckhead Mesa Landfill, and FR 583 from SR 87 to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. The National Forest closed for partial use alerts many due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parts of the Tonto National Forest remain closed through at least the end of the month due to currently active wildfires and high fire danger. So far this year, fires have burned nearly 225,000 acres of the Tonto National Forest, so officials have closed the area to prevent more fires.
Camping at campgrounds and in dispersed campsites are closed. Many popular trails—including Peralta Trail, Wind Cave Trail and Pass Mountain Trail—are closed. Recreation sites on forest roads not listed as open are closed.
Before you head to the lake or forest for some recreation, check the Tonto NF website for currently open sites. This will have the latest information on forest closures and impacted areas. When looking at the list of open sites, if the location you want to go is not there, it’s closed to the public. The National Forest closed for partial use comes to a shock as most places in Arizona are closing all around us.