Tonto Basin, Arizona

By | March 16, 2023

According to top-mba-universities, Tonto Basin, Arizona is located in the Tonto National Forest and is situated between Phoenix and Flagstaff. This small town of about 5,000 people offers a unique combination of desert landscape and lush pine forests. The climate here is mostly sunny, with mild winters and hot summers.

The history of Tonto Basin dates back to the 1800s, when it was inhabited by the Yavapai Indians. In 1877, General George Crook arrived in the area to establish a military outpost. He named it Camp Verde and it served as a base for scouting expeditions against hostile Apache tribes. After the end of the Indian Wars in 1886, many settlers moved into the area. Most were farmers or ranchers who took advantage of the fertile soil and abundant water sources.

Politically, Tonto Basin is part of Gila County and is represented at both local and state levels by elected officials from both major parties. The economy here relies heavily on agriculture, forestry, tourism and mining industries. There are several schools in the area that serve students from pre-kindergarten through high school; these include both public schools as well as private institutions such as St Joseph’s Catholic School.

There are several landmarks in Tonto Basin that draw visitors from around Arizona as well as other parts of the country. These include Roosevelt Lake – one of Arizona’s largest man-made lakes – which offers fishing, boating, camping and other recreational activities; Goldfield Ghost Town – an abandoned mining town that now serves as a tourist attraction; Tonto Natural Bridge State Park – featuring a natural travertine bridge over 400 feet long; Bartlett Lake – another popular spot for fishing enthusiasts; and many more scenic attractions that make this small town an ideal destination for anyone looking to explore Arizona’s wild outdoors!

Population: 840
Males: 435 (51.8%), Females: 405 (48.2%)

Gila County

Zip code: 85553

Median resident age: 58.4 years
Median household income: $23,398
Median house value: $109,100

Races in Tonto Basin:

  • White Non-Hispanic (95.2%)
  • American Indian (2.1%)
  • Hispanic (2.0%)
  • Two or more races (1.5%)
  • Other race (1.0%)

Ancestries: German (22.0%), Irish (18.3%), English (17.7%), United States (10.4%), French (8.2%), Dutch (6.1%).

Elevation: 2430 feet

Land area: 31.4 square miles

Tonto Basin, Arizona


Tonto Basin, Arizona is a small unincorporated community located in the northern part of Gila County. According to the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the population of Tonto Basin is approximately 1,800 people. The majority of residents are white and Native American, with a small percentage of African American and Hispanic residents. The median age is 43 years old, which is slightly higher than the national average.

The economy in Tonto Basin is largely dependent on tourism and ranching, as well as some light manufacturing in nearby towns. The majority of people work in the service industry, such as hospitality and retail jobs. There are also many small businesses that provide services to local residents and visitors alike. Education is provided by public schools within the county, with a few private schools for those seeking higher learning opportunities. The town has several churches that serve its spiritual needs as well as providing social activities for its members.

Overall, Tonto Basin has a vibrant community with an array of activities for its citizens and visitors alike to enjoy throughout the year including festivals celebrating local agriculture, rodeos and other outdoor recreation opportunities such as hiking or fishing on Roosevelt Lake or camping at nearby state parks like Tonto National Monument or Saguaro National Park near Tucson. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops to explore throughout town offering local cuisine as well as souvenirs to take home with you after your visit to this charming desert town!

For population 25 years and over in Tonto Basin

  • High school or higher: 80.4%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 7.2%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 3.4%
  • Unemployed: 4.4%
  • Mean travel time to work: 36.9 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Tonto Basin CDP

  • Never married: 7.5%
  • Now married: 64.8%
  • Separated: 0.8%
  • Widowed: 11.3%
  • Divorced: 15.5%

1.0% Foreign born


Hospitals/medical centers near Tonto Basin:

  • LUTHERAN HEART HOSPITAL (about 43 miles; MESA, AZ)


Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Tonto Basin:

  • WILLIAMS GATEWAY (about 45 miles; PHOENIX, AZ; Abbreviation: IWA)
  • PHOENIX SKY HARBOR INTL (about 57 miles; PHOENIX, AZ; Abbreviation: PHX)
  • LUKE AFB (about 78 miles; GLENDALE, AZ; Abbreviation: LUF)

Other public-use airports nearest to Tonto Basin:

  • PAYSON (about 29 miles; PAYSON, AZ; Abbreviation: PAN)
  • LOST DUTCHMAN (about 34 miles; APACHE JUNCTION, AZ; Abbreviation: H31)
  • FALCON FLD (about 41 miles; MESA, AZ; Abbreviation: FFZ)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Tonto Basin:

  • SCOTTSDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 45 miles; SCOTTSDALE, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 5,345)
  • MESA COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 52 miles; MESA, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 11,928)
  • PARADISE VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 52 miles; PHOENIX, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 3,410)
  • CHANDLER/GILBERT COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 53 miles; CHANDLER, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 2,990)
  • RIO SALADO COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 53 miles; TEMPE, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 4,472)
  • AL COLLINS GRAPHIC DESIGN SCHOOL LTD (about 53 miles; TEMPE, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 4,057)
  • ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY-MAIN CAMPUS (about 54 miles; TEMPE, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 37,174)

Public primary/middle school in Tonto Basin:

  • TONTO BASIN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 74; Location: ONE SCHOOL STREET; Grades: KG – 08)