Note: A permit is required for this trail. Carry it with you at all times.
You can obtain the necessary Tonto National Forest Off-Highway Vehicle Permit online.
Effective March 19, 2020, visitors who ride an off-highway vehicle (OHV) in the Bulldog Canyon OHV area on the Mesa Ranger District must obtain a permit online through recreation.gov. The district discontinued issuing paper permits.
The online process includes a $6 administrative fee to cover the cost of operating the online service. Additionally, past Bulldog Canyon permits allowed up to five additional household members to be added to the permit. Effective March 19, each OHV operator, age 16 or older, needs a permit on hand while riding in the Bulldog Canyon OHV area. Passengers not operating motorized vehicles in the permit area will not need a permit.
Just fill out the form, and they e-mail you printable permit within two days. Here’s the link.
If you need additional information you can contact the Mesa Ranger District at (480) 610-3300 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. during weekdays.
This is a highly sensitive area and subject to closure. Stay on trails and follow the rules at all times! The trail passes through scenic Sonoran Desert with views of Goldfield and Superstition Mountains. Suitable for aggressive stock SUVs with high ground clearance.
Time & Distance: About 8 miles. Allow 2 to 3 hours.
Trail Conditions: Tonto N.F., Mesa Ranger District. Call (480) 610-3300.
Remember: trail conditions, fire restrictions, weather, and land ownership change constantly so everyone must take responsibility for themselves, both for their safety and complying with all laws. Please understand that means YOU.
Directions to the Trail: From Hwy 60 east of Phoenix, head north from exit 188 on Power Road which turns into Bush Highway north of town. Follow Bush Hwy east and turn right 1.7 miles after Usery Pass Road. Refer to your permit for combination of gate. Relock the gate after passing through.
View Bulldog Canyon in a larger map for even more DETAILS!
Get yourself and your rig ready for the trip: Make sure both you and your vehicle are ready for your next adventure.
Before you venture out on your offroading trip you need to make sure you are prepared for emergencies. Even if nothing happens to you or your vehicle, you might come across someone who needs help. Short of always having your full-on Bug-Out-Bag with you, you should at least have some basic emergency items. It might seem obvious to some, but you should get yourself a tool box with appropriate tools and leather gloves, good first aid kit, fire extinguisher, set of jumper cables, emergency blankets (stored in heavy plastic bag – both are useful), flashlight, tow strap and some extra water. I would also suggest a recovery strap, a military folding shovel, heavy duty garbage bags, and a hand crank self powered weather radio. These items are not expensive, but they just might save your day.
Another thing you should definitely do before you leave is to save Joe’s number in your cellphone in case you find yourself in need of recovery in the middle of nowhere. Joe is the owner of Arizona 4×4 Off Road Recovery and has become a real hero to many in the Arizona offroad community. His number is (602) 697-8306.
If you’re ready for a next adventure and want to plan it right, check out some of these trail guides – Arizona has so many awesome destinations to explore!