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Located approximately 28 miles from both Phoenix, AZ, and San Carlos, Tonto National Forest was designated in 1905. At 2,874,900 acres, Tonto National Forest is not only the largest forest in the state of Arizona but also one of the largest national forest in the continental United States. It features six artificial lakes, including Roosevelt Lake, Apache Lake, Bartlett Reservoir, and Saguaro Lake. Other natural attractions include canyons, creeks, and rivers. A section of Verde Wild and Scenic River meanders through the forest.
In the southern region, Tonto National Forest is covered with the Sonoran desert saguaro cactus while the northern region is dotted with pine forest. For nature lovers, this forest has over 800 miles of trails designated as National Forest System Trails. Whether you enjoy exploring the scenery on foot, on a bike, or horseback, you can be sure to find a lovely trail. Other outdoor opportunities include canyoneering, boating, fishing, water-skiing, hunting, and swimming, wildlife watching, and picnicking. Search for a motorhome rental in Phoenix to explore this gigantic forest at your own pace.
No matter what you like to do during your RV rental vacation, Tonto National Forest is bound to have something interesting for you to enjoy. To enjoy outdoor activities in the forest, you’ll need a Tonto Pass. With over 150 miles of trails, hiking is Tonto National Forest’s go-to summer activity. Whether you are interested in ancient petroglyphs, lake views, or birding, you can be sure to find a perfect trail for you. Notable trails include Hieroglyphic Trail, Rim Lakes Vista Hiking Trail, Horton Creek Trail, and Bulldog Saddle and Pass Mountain Trail.
Tonto National Forest boasts of a thriving population of wildlife. The most common animals sighted here include deer, bison, squirrels, and elk. If you love birding, grab your binoculars and head to Little Lagoon. Here you can spot over a dozen species of birds including herons, pelicans, turkeys, and egrets.
With so many rivers, lakes, creeks, ponds, and streams dotting Tonto National Forest, opportunities for fishing are endless. The most common species caught in the forest water bodies include walleye, bass, crappie, and catfish. Ice fishing is permitted in winter.
Tonto National Forest offers tens of campgrounds, most of which can accommodate RV rentals. One of the best places to park your motorhome rental is Burnt Corral. Located adjacent to the 2,656 acres Apache Lake, this is a 77-site campground. Amenities offered include toilets and water spigots.
Located next to the 19,200-acre Roosevelt Lake, Cholla Campground boasts of 200 sites divided into six loops. Available amenities include flush toilets, hot showers, an RV dump station, and water spigots.
If you are bringing along your horse during your RV rental vacation, Houston Mesa Campground is your ideal place to spend your night. Located near Payson, this campground offers amenities such as coin-operated showers and toilets. There is an equestrian camping section with corrals available.
Regardless of the season, you choose to rent a motorhome in Phoenix; there is no dull moment in the Tonto National Forest region. Phoenix and surrounding areas offer many outdoor activities and points of interest for you to explore. Animal lovers and nature buffs will have many options to explore. Out of Africa Wildlife Park is a lovely spot to experience up-close encounters with wildlife during RV rental trip. Located in Camp Verde, approximately 43 miles away, this is a great place to spend time enjoying with your family. Park animals include tigers, hyenas, lions, bears, giraffes, tigers, and buffalos. Besides animals, the park offers safari ziplines.
When you want to see more of non-native animals, Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park will not disappoint. Spread over 200 acres in Litchfield Park, this complex showcases both land and marine animals. Stingrays, white rhinoceros, sharks, giraffes, otters, jaguars, flamingoes, penguins, sea lions, and black bears are some of the species seen here. For fun, the park offers plenty of amusement rides and swings.
If you are a plant enthusiast, don’t leave without visiting Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior. This is a well-manicured 392-acre garden featuring diverse plant species. It is also a haven for wildlife lovers and birders. The most common animals seen here include vultures, bobcats, hawks, and javelinas.
In downtown Phoenix, Enchanted Island Amusement Park is one of the best amusement parks in the area. Nestled within the 222-acre Encanto Park, this park is geared towards kids below ten years. Encompassing seven acres, the park offers activities such as kiddie cars and bumper boats.