Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Water Unknown
About Phon D Sutton

This site is a popular inner tube take-out point. This lush area is outstanding for birding. The Lower Salt River Nature Trail winds through an adjacent riparian area, allowing hikers to enjoy this unique habitat.

National Forest
Walk In
Boat In
Alcohol Allowed
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Trash Available
Phon D Sutton is located in Tonto National Forest in Arizona
33.546 N
-111.66 W
Get Directions
This site is located 16 miles northeast of Mesa. From Mesa, travel 7 miles east on the Superstition Freeway (US 60) to Power Road /Bush Highway/Forest Road (FR) 204 and turn north. Follow Bush Highway for 9 miles to FR 169, and turn left. Follow FR 169 for 1 mile to the site. The entire route is paved. Click Here For Map.
3 Reviews of Phon D Sutton
Great if you’re on the water

There is some no overnight camping at coon bluff or Phon D Sutton, just day use. You need a tonto pass or national parks adventure pass. While you can buy them at some of the sites like this one, they are cheaper in town, I posted a picture with pricing. Kayaking is great and there are some cool features to explore like islands in the river. The river flow is turned down during the winter so you can check online at


Usually flow between 400-1000 is great for anything and they maintain that mostly through the summer. If you start up further east then the far side of the river is fun to explore, be aware that usually until mid June the other side is close for Bald Eagle protection. Spend some time on the water and if you’re quiet and watching you’ll see all types of birds including eagles, hawks, cardinals, fishing birds, herons. Also there are horses throughout the river.

There are some good places for fishing and kids to play here. There are dumpsters and bathrooms but people still seem to leave garbage everywhere. Please clean up if you want these sites to stay open!

Phon D Sutton

Phon D Sutton is one in a series of picnic areas along the salt river. This is for daytime use and not available for overnight camping. The only area available to camp is Coons Bluff.

The picnic areas starting from power road moving east are Granite reef, Phon D Sutton, Coons Bluff, Blue Point on the north, Pebble Beach on the south, and the Water Users or main drop point at the end. All of these require a Tonto pass which is $8 at nearby convenient stores or you can buy a year pass for $88 I believe at the rangers station.

We kayaked from the Water Users drop point to Phon D Sutton in a couple hours, stopping along the way.

Phon D Sutton, along with all the other picnic sites have vault toilets and you can get cell service. Every time I have been, the trash cans are overfilling and there are piles of trash left behind by weekend holiday tubers. If you go on the weekend, expect to hear loud music and drunk people.

Weekdays are great and you might be one of the only one out there.

The salt river wildlife makes up for the sometimes messy picnic area. I have never been out there and not seen the wild horses, various birds, fish, and plant life that this area has to offer. There are a few good swimming pools along this beach area and all throughout the river too.

Three stars for the picnic area because I mainly use it as a pick up point but five stars for the salt river(especially not on a holiday weekend!!!)

First to Review
Great Picnic spot right outside the city

First, I’m pretty sure this spot does not allow overnight camping. Coon’s Bluff, about five minutes up the road, does allow overnight camping, but only on weekends.

You will need a Tonto Recreation Pass. They can be purchased around the valley at most convenience/grocery stores/wal marts for $8. if you do not purchase this and display it on your rear view, you are subject to $100 ticket. just buy one (or a couple to keep handy in vehicle)

Phon D is a great day spot, yet can get extremely packed on weekends. During warm/hot days, entire families will pack in and bbq next. This means lots of people and lots of trash, which is only reason why I’m giving it 4 stars. Join the cool kids club and bring an extra trash bag or two, and help us pick up everyone’s mess!

Spot details:

This spot is right on the lower salt river. The water temperature stays pretty unchanged year round, but is amazing for summer play time. There are numerous picnic tables, as well as multiple Ramada’s. These picnic tables are spread out throughout this region, so if there are crowds, head upstream and keep checking for an empty table!

River has multiple swim spots, as well as an area to jump off some rocks (not cliff jumping, these rocks are a couple feet high at best, so good for young ones that can swim)

This area is also prime for seeing some of the ‘Native’ horses that reside in the region. So, if you’d like to enjoy a peaceful day at the river, swim, bbq, and maybe see some wild horses, this is a spot to check out!

there are a couple trails from people meandering. One follows upstream and shoots you out just before Coons Bluff. I personally like to bring my raft/tube up this trail, set off in the water (stay left) and jump back on shore just pass the rock jump area/main swim hole.