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The Largest Pine Forest In The World!

At 2,969,602 acres, Tonto is by some distance the largest of the six national forests in Arizona, and has the most interesting, diverse scenery, with terrain and elevation ranging from the Sonoran Desert (1,400 feet) to the Mogollon Rim (7,400 feet). Besides desert and mountains it contains lakes - mostly artificially created, fertile river valleys, rocky canyons and flat plains. Much of the area is covered by cacti, in particular the familiar giant saguaro, but there are also dozens of smaller species.

The cactus colonies merge with bushes, chaparral and grasslands above 4,000 feet, while the higher hills to the north support varied woodland habitats including juniper, mixed fir and ponderosa pine. Tonto National Forest contains eight separate wilderness areas, all of which have quite limited access as the land is generally steep and rough, without many trails, and experiences harsh weather for most of the year.

  • Size: 2,873,200 acres

  • Elevation: 1300 – 7900 feet

  • Ecosystems: Sonoran Desert, Chaparral, Woodlands, Pine forests, Mixed-conifer forest

  • Lakes: Roosevelt, Apache, Canyon, Saguaro

  • Reservoirs: Bartlett and Horseshoe

  • Rivers: Salt and Verde and many streams

  • Water Yield: 350,000 acre-feet per average year

  • Wilderness Areas: 589,300 acres in 8 Wilderness Areas

  • Range Vegetation: 285,000 animals months grazed per year by 26,000 cattle

  • Wildlife: 400 vertebrates; 21 Threatened or Endangered Species

  • Recreation Opportunities: 59 camping sites, 26 picnic sites, 18 boating sites, 10 fishing sites, 3 organization camps, 52 trailheads, 8 commercial public service sites (e.g., resorts, marinas) and 6 interpretive sites (including the Roosevelt Lake Visitors’ Center)

  • Roads: 2590 miles, including 300 miles of AZ/US highways

  • National Scenic Byways:

  • Desert to Tall Pines (Forest Road 512 & AZ Hwy 288), 64 miles.

  • Apache Trail (AZ Hwy 88), 39 miles

  • Trails: 900+ miles

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