Phon D Family Pictures | Mesa Arizona Photographer
I LOVE incorporating water into my sessions, hopefully that isn’t a surprise since I think at least half of my sessions are at locations along the Salt River. I swear, every time I visit a new little recreation area in Tonto National Forest I find a new favorite. Never was this more true than with Phon D, my new FAVORITE place for family pictures… or really pictures of any kind. AND it’s also my favorite place for a picnic or just to hang out and swim. You won’t find a more enchanting location!
Phon D Sutton Recreation Area is this beautiful little bend in the river where the river flows through these HUGE boulder-like rock formations. The result is several serene inlets and pools perfect for wading, paddle boarding, and even cliff jumping in some areas. And the effect as a backdrop for pictures?! I don’t think there’s anywhere like it anywhere else in the whole world!
What you need to know
Phon D Sutton Recreation Area is in the Tonto National Forest (about a 20-minute drive from Power & Guadeloupe in Gilbert). As such, you need a Tonto Pass to park at this location. You can buy them onsite or at select gas stations near by. I believe they are $6.
The walk down to the water is not far but rocky and on an incline. I recommend brining flip flops or really anything other than heels to wear while you’re hiking, and then change into your heels when we’re situated for pictures.
The water will be high like this in the spring and summer, however when they shut off the dam in mid-October the water level will drop exposing much of the boulders. Its still a great place for pictures year round, but if you want the water to be a main feature, best to plan for spring/summer.
So many of my sessions are turning into surprise proposals and I LOVE IT!
Look at the audience we had for part of this session! They hung around forever and even followed us! A little cool, a little creepy. Racoons!