Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation – Arizona Style

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Located less than an hour’s drive from Phoenix, Arizona, Bulldog Canyon is a great place to experience the Tonto National Forest’s unique Sonoran Desert from your off-highway vehicle (OHV). With 25 miles (40 km) of designated OHV trails and views of the Goldfield and Superstition mountains, visitors to Bulldog Canyon can explore the area's primitive and rough trails while winding through this beautiful southwestern landscape.

Exploring the Bulldog Canyon off-highway vehicle recreation area

Whether you ride a motorcycle, drive an all-terrain vehicle, side-by-side or a full-size four-wheel drive vehicle, Bulldog Canyon’s 34,000 acres (13,759 ha) are open year-round and offer moderately rated trails.

Consider a visit between November and May for more mild temperatures — summer temperatures can be extreme. Spring flowers will be in bloom from March through May, showing-off the desert’s unique beauty. Be sure to carry plenty of water, wear appropriate safety gear, carry a first aid kit and always travel with a partner. Be especially careful during rainstorms as water can significantly increase the trail difficulty and water levels in washes can rise quickly.


A side-by-side off-highway vehicle is parked in a pullout in Bulldog Canyon.

Bulldog Canyon, Tonto National Forest (Photo Courtesy: Kelly Finley)

Beginning March 19, 2020, the Tonto National Forest Off-Highway Vehicle Use Permit will become available for advanced reservation on Required to access the Bulldog Canyon recreation area, the permit is valid six months from the date of purchase and must be in the permit holder’s possession while visiting Bulldog Canyon.

Keep in mind, this is a gated area and permit holders should be prepared to enter the gate code which is provided with the reservation. Open routes in Bulldog Canyon include Forest Roads 10, 12, 1356, 3512, 3554 and 3556. Access to these routes are through five access points: Blue Point, Usery, Wolverine, Hackamore, Dutchman and Willow. 

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