TONTO BASIN, ARIZONA
Copyright - DJ Craig - All Rights Reserved
West Still Lives
Wild Western Frontier
There are deep roots to the Native American culture in this part of Arizona. Early inhabitants of the Tonto Basin were the Salado Indians around 1300 AD. Later, many historians say the Tonto Basin was the last stronghold of the Apache Indians. This was due in large part to its proximity to water, a refuge from would-be attackers and extremely wild terrain. Tonto Basin is located in the Valley of Tonto Creek, within the unincorporated community of Punkin Center. As portrayed by the Zane Grey novel Tonto Basin and the 1941 film Tonto Basin Outlaws, the community was built on a feud between two cowboy families that escalated into the Pleasant Valley War, also known as the Tonto Basin War or Feud. The region is now a peaceful and charming town that embodies the southwestern experience through its history and culture.
One of the greatest benefits of living or working in Tonto Basin is its proximity to the Tonto National Forest, Theodore Roosevelt Lake, and all the outdoor recreation opportunities residents and tourists enjoy year-round.
Roosevelt Lake is less than 20 miles from Tonto Basin, and is a blue jewel in the desert and was once the world’s largest man-made lake. The lake is a favorite for largemouth bass anglers, jet skiing, hiking, boating, and swimming and features several marinas, campsites, and a general store. While driving around Roosevelt Lake, be sure to drive over the steel arch bridge, built in 1990, to appreciate its design and aesthetics.
From its wild history to its current position in Arizona as a recreation destination, Tonto Basin is “Where the West Still Lives.