Tonto modifying Bulldog Canyon OHV permit process

Release Date: Mar 6, 2020

PHOENIX, March 6, 2020 — For Immediate Release.  Beginning March 19, people who ride an off-highway vehicle (OHV) in the Bulldog Canyon OHV area on the Mesa Ranger District must obtain a permit online through The district will discontinue paper permits. 

According to Matt Lane, Mesa District Ranger, the permit process change is the result of growth. 

“An increase in public use of the Bulldog Canyon OHV area, along with the rising popularity of OHVs created a demand for permits that exceeds our capability to provide a quality experience for our visitors,” Lane said. “Transitioning to an online permit system for the Bulldog Canyon OHV area will allow us to continue providing riding experiences our visitors enjoy.”  

The transition also means the public no longer will have to travel to the Mesa Ranger District office to obtain a permit.  

The online process will include 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, will need 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.  

To reserve a permit on, search for ‘Tonto National Forest Off-Highway Vehicle Permit’ and follow prompts to purchase and then print the permit. The permit will also include six months of gate code combinations to unlock access gates to the Bulldog Canyon OHV area. 

People seeking additional information can contact the Mesa Ranger District at (480) 610-3300 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. during weekdays. 

The following table provides access points to Bulldog Canyon. 


Motorized Vehicle Use Permit Area Access Point/ Staging Area GPS Coordinates (decimal degrees format) General Location Information Directions

Bulldog Canyon




Off Bush Highway, near many river-based recreation sites

  • Exit Loop 202 (Red Mountain freeway) at Power Road

  • Continue north on Power Road, which curves east and becomes Bush Highway

  • Go straight through two stop signs - one at Coon Bluff and another at Usery Pass

  • Access point is approximately 1.8 miles on the right. Should you travel over a bridge you’ve gone too far

Bulldog Canyon




Off Usery Pass Road, north of Usery Mountain Regional Park

  • Head north on Ellsworth Road until the road becomes Usery Pass

  • After passing Usery Mountain Regional Park, the access point is approximately 1.6 miles on the right after a curve. Note that the pull-out for the access point comes up quick!

Bulldog Canyon




Nestled in Apache Junction neighborhoods at the Forest boundary

  • Exit US 60 Superstition Freeway at Idaho Road

  • Continue north to McKellips Road

  • East on McKellips Road to Wolverine Pass Road

  • North on Wolverine Pass Road to Tonto Street

  • East on Tonto Street to Cactus Road

  • North on Cactus Road. In less than 650 feet, the road will turn 90 degrees to the right (heading east), and in another 400 feet it will turn left (heading north). The access point is about 600 feet ahead.

Bulldog Canyon




On Hackamore Road, against BLM and State Trust Land. Access road can be bumpy

  • Exit US 60 Superstition Freeway at SR 88 Apache Trail

  • Continue northeast on SR 88 Apache Trail for approximately 3 miles to Hackamore Road

  • North on Hackamore Road for approximately 1.5 miles to the access point

Bulldog Canyon




On SR 88, across from the Superstition Mountains

  • Exit US 60 Superstition Freeway at SR 88 Apache Trail

  • Continue northeast on SR 88 Apache Trail; access point is on the left approximately 1 mile past Lost Dutchman State Park. This access point can be hidden from vegetation and comes up quick!

Bulldog Canyon




On SR 88, north of the Dutchman access point on the way to Canyon Lake

  • Exit US 60 Superstition Freeway at SR 88 Apache Trail

  • Continue northeast on SR 88 Apache Trail. Access point is on the left approximately 1.8 miles past Lost Dutchman State Park