Bulldog Canyon OHV Area is an off-roading recreation area east of Phoenix in Tonto National Forest that offers dispersed camping along designated routes. Bulldog canyon is a trail-only OHV area unlike California’s Ocotillo Wells SVRA, and requires you to stick to the four designated routes through the area. The trails wind through the Goldfield Mountains and the Sonoran Desert foothills, and provide pullouts and camping areas adjacent to the trails. Camping is available in most areas, except those within the Salt River Recreation Area.

Camping in Bulldog Canyon OHV Area is a primitive camping experience with no amenities. You need to pack your own water in, and pack your trash out. Permits for accessing Bulldog Canyon are required and must be obtained in advance and carried with each vehicle at all times. There is no cost for access permits. Along with the access permit you will be issued a combination for the locks that secure the access gates to Bulldog Canyon. Permits can be obtained from the Mesa Ranger District office at 5140 E. Ingram St, Mesa, AZ 85205 or online. The permit will be emailed to you within 48 hours.

Bulldog Canyon OHV Area Features

Campground Type: Dispersed
Number of Campsites: Not Defined
Cost: $9/Night/vehicle via Tonto Pass
Use Level: Low
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Fire Rings: None
Drinking Water: None
Toilets: None
Showers: None
Trash/Dumpsters: None
Hiking Access: Yes
Beach/Lake Access: None
RV/Trailer Length: N/A
RV/Trailer Amenities: None
Cell Phone Service: None
Wifi: None
Operating Season: Year-Round

Getting There

Geo Coordinates:
Nearest City/Town: Mesa, Arizona
Elevation: 3200 Feet
Location: Maricopa County, Arizona
Paved Road Access: No
Proximity to Stores: 5-50 Miles to Mesa, Arizona
Directions: Access #1– Forest Road (FR) 10, north entrance: This access point is reached through the Lower Salt River Recreation Area. From Mesa: Travel east for 7 miles on the Superstition Freeway (US 60) to Power Road/ BushHwy/Forest Road (FR) 204 and turn north. Follow Bush Hwy. for approximately 13 miles to the FR 10 junction with FR 204 west of the bridge at Blue Point Recreation Site.

Access #2– Forest Road (FR) 3554, west entrance: This entrance is ¾ mile north of Usery Pass Country Park. From Mesa, travel east 10 miles on the Superstition Freeway (US 60) to the Ellsworth exit. Follow Ellsworth approximately 8 miles to Forest Road (FR) 3554 and turn right.

Access #3– Forest Road (FR) 10, south entrance: This access point is reached from Apache Junction. From Mesa: Travel 15 miles east on the Superstition Freeway (US 60) to the Idaho Street exit. Follow Idaho Street north 4½ miles to McKellips. Turn right on McKellips and travel ½ mile to the Wolverine Pass Road and turn left. Follow it for 7/8 mile and turn right on Tonto Road. Travel north on Tonto Road for ¼ mile to Cactus and turn left. Follow Cactus to McDowell Road and follow it to FR 10 gate.


Phone: (480) 595-3300
Web: Tonto National Forest
Reservations: Not Available

When To Go

Fall – Spring –  Highs in October and April can exceed 100 degrees and lows in December and January can dip below freezing.

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Image Credits: demminger1 via Flickr

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Justin is an IT Professional, focused on cloud, mobile, and infrastructure management and security with his consulting business, as well as chief bottle washer for this website. In addition to NextCampsite.com, Justin also runs and writes for the technology infrastructure-focused blog OddJobsInTech.com, and the mobile device-focused blog EnterpriseMobileDevice.com.


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