General Information about the Salt River wild horses based on frequently asked questions.
-You can find the Salt River wild horses anywhere in the Tonto National Forest (TNF) along the lower Salt River, between the Stewart Mountain dam and the Granite Reef dam. The following are recreation areas where they are most frequently seen: Coon Bluff, Goldfield, Blue Point and Pebble Beach. You can park in those rec areas and take a walk along the river. You can also see them from the river when you kayak, board or tube.
When you see Salt River wild horses, please enjoy them responsibly and respectfully.
– In the TNF recreation areas, day passes are required. They are available at Walgreens, nearby gas stations and at machines in recreation areas.
-The Salt River Horses are protected from harassment pursuant to A.R.S 3 – 1491, this is also called the Salt River Horse Act of 2016. It was passed and signed by Governor Ducey in 2016 and enacted in 2017.
-These wild horses are free to roam on approximately 20,000 acres, of which the perimeters are fenced. They do not have access to Bush Hwy but they still have a horse crossing on Goldfield road where the speed limit is 25.
These horses are humanely managed through a novel cooperation between the US Forest Service, the AZ Department of Agriculture (AZDA) and our -all volunteer non-profit- organization, SRWHMG. It is thanks to this arrangement that the horses are still there for the public to enjoy.
– SRWHMG keeps track of every band and every horse. Injuries are monitored and horses can be rescued when they are mortally wounded or sick. SRWHMG also monitors the condition of the horses, and in times of drought provides help to the horses through the emergency feed program. This program is not currently active because natural resources are sufficing at this time.
– SRWHMG is in charge of a humane birth control program in order to stabilize the population growth, which in turn affords them to stay wild and free. The mares are on a yearly schedule to be darted and you may see SRWHMG darting teams in the field at any time during the year with a green dart projector, or air rifle.
– SRWHMG is an accredited non-profit organization and does not receive government assistance or grants. The group also does not charge the government for their humane management. It is the public who provide all of the funding and sponsorships to keep the Salt River wild horses happy and free. If you’d like to help, please go to www.SRWHMG.org
– SRWHMG volunteers are in the field at all hours of the day. They wear white t-shirts with a logo, blue safety vests that say SRWHMG volunteer, and when they are on road patrol they wear yellow safety vests. Their cars have a logo on them as well. You are welcome to ask volunteers questions about the horses at any time and they will be glad to talk to you.
-Salt River wild horses are semi-tolerant of people (because they see thousands of humans yearly), but they are still wild and unpredictable animals that should be respected as such.
– Keeping a safe and respectful distance of 50 ft from the horses, is the best way to observe their daily behavior, without disturbing them. You can watch them battling, playing, snaking, grooming, grazing, migrating or just napping.
Salt River wild horses are not chipped or branded and are not vaccinated against any disease and have and can contract any type of virus or bacteria that could be transmittable to your horse or dog through soil, manure or close proximity. Please bring your animals at your own risk and keep a safe distance.
Dog owners please adhere to the Maricopa County leash law for your dog’s safety. Some stallions have been known to attack loose dogs when they come too close to their families. ( dogs have died, so please take this seriously )
– Please help keep the forest clean; trash and garbage is dangerous for horses. Pack out what you pack in and pick up some extra trash to make a difference.
-Gates to the forest are there to keep horses and people safe, please close them behind you and never ever cut fences. Fences are federal property.
-Heed the speed limit on Bush Hwy and Goldfield Rd., speed limits are strictly enforced by MCSO Lake patrol.
-Please report any issues or injuries of horses to the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group hotline (480)-868-9301
You can find out more information, buy wild horse merchandise, or sponsor a Salt River wild horse at www.srwhmg.org
We hope you get to enjoy these Arizona treasures. We invite you to meet other like minded Salt River horse lovers, and share your pictures on our other community page called: Salt River Wild Horses- Advocates.
We want to thank everyone for treating these cherished horses with respect and for supporting our efforts.
Have a great time enjoying the horses and recreating in the Tonto National Forest. SRWHMG.
Photo by Paris Park Photography.