I called the Cave Creek Ranger district of the Tonto National Forest this morning to inquire as to the legality of crossing water while on a 4x4 trail within the Tonto.

One of the main points Tonto wants to establish is the difference between Designated Trails and User-Defined Trails. It is always illegal to put your tires in water if you are on a User-Defined trail. For travel on Designated Trails, the following rules apply:

If you are on a designated trail skirting a reservoir or lake, and the water level is high enough to cover part of the trail, you may cautiously proceed as long as:

1. It is safe to do so & you are not endangering yourself
2. You do not destroy plants or other natural resources

If you are on a designated trail that crosses a river or stream, you may cautiously proceed as long as:

1. It is safe to do so & you are not endangering yourself
2. You do not destroy plants or other natural resources

Users of 4x4 trails must be aware of the Arizona State Stupid Motorist Law!
If you cross water anywhere in the state & require public assistance, you will be charged.

OHV users of Tonto National Forest are expected to review current maps prior to 4x4 trips to determine whether trails are Designated routes, and call the Ranger District with questions or to check trail conditions.

Verde River Crossings

The crossing we used on Saturday IS NOT a designated crossing. The area where we crossed the Verde is currently closed to the public for repairs and maintenance.

Currently there are 3 designated crossings of the Verde River

1. Childs
2. Sheeps Bridge
3. Box-Bar (near Needle Rock)