cross the salt and over the hills
There are couple of trails east of the Stewart Mountain Dam on a fat peninsula. The Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch offers horse rides on the trails. The views are very spectacular. You get views of the dam, Butcher Jones trail, Saguaro Del Norte recreation site, Saguaro lake, four peaks and the Salt River. To access the trails you need to cross the Salt River.
Crossing the Salt River can be dangerous or deadly if you cross when there is too much water flow.
I waited until the water release from the Steward Mountain dam was 10 CFS. The water was pretty much almost still and about one foot deep. With the water flow so low, there was a quarter inch of moss on all the rocks which made them slick. I took my time crossing so I wouldn’t twist an ankle or slip.
There are two loops and a spur trail off of the upper loop. The upper loop offers views of the dam and the lake. There are also three survey discs along the upper loop. The spur trail takes you to a high point and drops down into by an old fence and has a downstream view of the Salt River. The lower loop is not that exciting. It’s on the desert floor and has some views of the desert plants. As of this writing, it had a tall green grass.
Once you’re on the horse trail, follow it to a split. Turn to the left for the upper loop or right for the lower loop. I took the upper loop to the spur trail and then took the lower loop.
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.