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Geography of the Tonto Creek Basin

The Tonto Creek Basin, located in the east central part of the planning area is 955 square miles in area.  Geographic features and principal communities are shown on Figure 5.3-1.  The basin is characterized by mid-elevation mountain ranges. Vegetation types include Arizona uplands Sonoran desertscrub, semi-desert grassland, interior chaparral, Great Basin conifer and madrean evergreen woodlands and Rocky Mountain and madrean montane conifer forests. (see Figure 5.0-10) Riparian vegetation is found along streams including mixed broadleaf, tamarisk and mesquite along Tonto Creek.

Principal geographic features shown on Figure 5.3-1 are:

  • Tonto Creek running north to south through the center of the basin from Kohls Ranch and exiting the basin about eight miles south of Punkin Center
  • Rye Creek flowing through Rye in the western portion of the basin
  • Spring Creek and Hayler Creek flowing from the eastern basin boundary to Tonto Creek
  • Tonto Basin located in the south central part of the basin along Tonto Creek
  • Mogollon Rim along the northern basin boundary and the Sierra Ancha Mountains (not labeled on the map) along the eastern boundary
  • Mazatzal Mountains along the western boundary, which contain the highest point in the basin, Mazatzal Peak at 7,888 feet
  • The lowest point in the basin is about 5,000 feet along Tonto Creek where it exits the basin

Click to view 5.3-1

Click for Figure 5.3-1 Tonto Creek Basin Geographic Features


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References and Supplemental Reading for the Tonto Creek Basin

Colorado River Central Highlands Planning Area Download entire Central Highlands Planning Area Atlas in pdf Forest Ponderosa forest