We had brought some rain with us from St. Louis to Phoenix on our first day in Arizona and on our second day, it was still a bit cooler than normal, but the sun was shining. We decided to check out a few recreation areas along the Salt River.
The Salt River starts in the White Mountains, flows through Phoenix and after 200 miles, empties into the Gila River. We first stopped at the Goldfield Recreation Area in the Tonto National Forest. After a short walk, the river comes into view. There were several people kayaking!
If you walk west a bit along the river, a huge mountain looms off in the distance. If anyone knows what this mountain is, leave a comment below! I could not figure it out!
The next place that we went to was the Phon D. Sutton Recreation Area. We ate a quick lunch and then went exploring! I loved this area! It reminded me a lot of Johnson Shut-In’s if you are from the St. Louis area. There is no defined trail, but you can climb over boulders and rocks and make your way along the river.
We even saw some wild horses! This area was really neat and a great “outdoor playground” for kids!
Our final stop along the Salt River was the Water Users Recreation Area. This place was my favorite of the three! Sharp, rugged rocks line the opposite shore and the scenery is stunning!
I’ll go on record and say I never knew Arizona could be so beautiful!
A short hike leads from the parking lot down to the river.
Just behind the pavilion is an overlook where you can see Four Peaks! The mountains were even snow capped while we were there!
As a reminder, a pass is needed to enjoy the recreation areas in the Tonto National Forest. You can pick one of these up for a small fee at the local gas stations or some of the areas have fee stations as well.