8 Must See Arizona Waterfalls

8 Must See Arizona Hikes with Waterfalls

When you think of hiking in Arizona, you probably think about mountains and peaks with lots of desert terrain. But, have you ever thought about waterfalls? There are actually quite a few hikes you can take around Arizona to see waterfalls.

Here are 8 of the must see Arizona hikes that have waterfalls.


Tanque Verde Falls


By traveling 20 miles east of Tucson, you can take a hike and experience several waterfalls. Just a two mile hike, a bit of scrambling and you can enjoy a beautiful sight.

While you can bring the whole family, this hike can be deceptively dangerous. People have died on this hike and several more have required assistance to be rescued. The best times to go are during spring, fall or winter. Flash floods happen during monsoon season, so it is best to avoid this time.

The more adventurous hikers really enjoy cliff jumping part.

Sycamore Falls

With over 55,000 acres of wilderness, Sycamore Falls is buried in beauty, soaring pinnacles, colorful cliffs and some of the rarest habitats. You can hike an 11 mile loop to get to a 100-foot waterfall near the headwaters of Sycamore Creek, just southeast of Williams. There are also more direct trails if you need to forgo the long trek.

For the ultimate view of the waterfall, take the Sycamore Rim Trail. You will enjoy a mellow trail with the best scene on the trail and at the waterfall. Make it an overnight stay by lodging at White Horse Lake Campground.

Water Wheel Falls and Ellison Creek

Just miles beyond Payson, on Forest Road 199, lives one of the most iconic hikes in all of Arizona. Start your hike at the Water Wheel Day Use area that is between First and Second Crossing Campgrounds. As you walk alongside the water’s meandering route, you will make to East Verde and Ellison Creek. Walk upstream to reach the falls. This area is known for its pools, falls and swimming holes. Take a dip, a selfie or just enjoy the solitude.

Seneca Falls

There’s a place between Globe and Salt River Canyon where a dream died. The San Carlos Apache Tribe in the 1970s had hopes to build a resort area and began with a restaurant, trading post and campground. However, years after beginning they defaulted on the loan and it all came crashing down.

What’s left is a few abandoned buildings littered with graffiti. However, Seneca Falls still flows, especially after a good rain. It is an enjoyable place for remote scenery and a beautiful waterfall. The hike is short, but the view is stunning.

Apache Falls

Unlike most waterfalls in Arizona, Apache Falls is located on a river instead of a creek. This means it has flow and volume that most other falls in the state lack.

The hike is easy, a simple one mile round trip path from the parking lot. It peaks in the spring after the snow melts, but the flow is impressive year-round.

Ash Creek Falls

For a more challenging hike with a scenic waterfall, Ash Creek Falls might be just the ticket for you. The hike takes a 5,000 foot drop in elevation from its starting point. There’s so much to see on this hike, including lush forest, desert scrub, an old sawmill and logging equipment.

About halfway into your journey, you will come across Ash Creek Falls. The creek is small, so the falls fluctuate. It can be very spectacular when it flows well against a scenery of cascading forest and sheer rock walls.

Carr Canyon Falls

Hereford, Arizona is home to Carr Canyon Falls. Most of Sierra Vista can see this stunning waterfall, but the up-close views are much more intriguing. The entire trail stretches just over 5 miles and leashed dogs are welcome to enjoy the view with you.

Massacre Falls

While the name might sound frightening, the hike actually quite pleasant. The history is that of Apache Indians slaughtering a party of Mexican miners as they attempted to carry gold ore south.

While the history is brutal, the hike is not. Spanning over 5 miles, the hike is mellow and beautiful. Get started at Crosscut Trailhead off First Water Road to catch a glimpse of a stunning waterfall located near Apache Junction.

Bottom Line

Finding a waterfall might prove difficult in Arizona as most of them rely a lot on rain and monsoons to fill them up. However, there is always beautiful landscape and wonderful trails to hike regardless of the size of the waterfall.