Arizona, USA, offers magnificent landscapes and ample attractions rooted in nature. Those who love camping, hiking, trekking, or even cliff diving would appreciate the variety in this state. If you ever visit Arizona, take the time to check out some of the waterfall hikes included on this list. Whether you are an expert climber or novice hiker, there’s a trail suited for you. If you like feeling the heat of the sun, sweat dripping down your body, leafless shrubs, and scenic views of what nature can truly bring you, then read on to learn all about the best waterfall hikes in Arizona, USA.
Trip101 recommends assessing the risks before hitting the hiking and trekking trails. Please be especially aware of the difficulty levels, the locations’ ground conditions, as well as the seasonal risks.
1. Havasu Falls
Havasu Falls Trail is located inside Havasupai Indian Reservation in Arizona, USA. The name of the Havasupai tribe means “people of the blue-green waters”. Before you go here, reservation is required and make sure you wear the right shoes as it is a long hike if you want to hike all the way to the waterfall. The Havasupai Trailhead can be found in the Hualapai Hilltop parking area. It is an out-and-back moderate trail covering 25 mi (40.2 km) round trip. Nevertheless, the hike is worth it when you reach the falls as you can swim in its refreshing blue-green waters.
2. Fossil Creek Falls
If you’re the type to enjoy an outdoor adventure, you might like to go to Fossil Creek Falls where you can go cliff diving at a 25-feet (7.6 meters) tall fall. It’s located in Arizona, USA and takes about 1-mile (1.6 kilometers) walk in the stunning Fossil Creek. Do note that the trailhead, waterfalls, and creek cannot be accessed if you choose the route from Strawberry, Ariz. After reaching the falls, you can swim at the beautiful pool located at its base and even have fun watching the colorful fishes that consider it their home. This hike is also a good choice for beginners!
You might be interested in these Airbnbs!
3. Cibecue Falls
Cibecue Falls, which is located in Arizona, USA, is a great place to go on an adventure with your friends. To reach the falls, you will need to hike for about 3 miles (1.6 kilometers) but don’t worry! The hike is worth it as you’ll get to have a stunning view of the canyon while taking a dip in its waters. The canyon forms a natural alcove, which gives you a private and serene place to relax in. If you are a beginner hiker, then we advise you to go about this route with extreme caution as the trail is a bit bumpy with very narrow sections.
4. Beaver Falls
Beaver Falls is located in a well-traversed hiking trail in Supai, Arizona. It’s one of the falls that you can encounter along the trail. You’ll need to hike a few miles to reach it and it features smaller pools as compared to the other waterfalls located along the hiking trail. A hike to Beaver Falls is 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) below Mooney Falls and another 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers) below the campground, totaling around 7 miles (11.3 kilometers) for a round trip hike. It once had a height of about 50 feet (15.2 meters) but the Great Flood, which occurred in 1910, destroyed most of its parts.
5. Mooney Falls
Mooney Falls is one of the waterfalls you can encounter when you go on hiking in Supai, Arizona. It’s quite a hike before you reach the falls so it’s advisable to start early. Plus, while it’s relatively easy, you’ll need a lot of stamina to reach the Mooney Falls. The hike is surely worth it as the Mooney Falls is one massive waterfall at over 200 feet (61 meters), which is quite a sight to behold. It’s the grandest and surely a not-to-be-missed tourist spot in Arizona.
6. Seven Falls
Seven Falls, which is a 3.2-mile (5.14 kilometers) heavily trafficked trail, is considered as one of the most popular falls in Tucson, Arizona. The hiking process in order to get there may not be that extreme but it is advisable that you are in good shape before saying “yes” to this adventure. Nevertheless, this experience will offer you a scenic view of the Seven Waterfalls at the end of your hike. Moreover, you can also take an alternative route to this place from Sabino Canyon Recreation Center. Once you’ve arrived here, enjoy swimming or jumping at the cliffs to your heart’s content. The best part is that you can access this all-year-round!
7. Navajo Falls
The scenic blue-green waters of Navajo Falls is a result of a flash flood from 2008. The flood changed the landscape resulting in this hidden gem that is concealed from the main trail of the canyon. Once you’re here, there are tons of activities to do like swimming or cliff diving. Navajo Falls is also a great alternative spot if you want to avoid the tourist crowd at Havasu Falls.
8. Ribbon Falls
Ribbon Falls is one of the most famous waterfall hiking destinations in Arizona. Located on the North Kaibab Trail, the falls offer a stunning view of the roaring waters against red rock and lush green surroundings. It is possible to hike to the falls in just one day. However, most would recommend that you plan an extended stay in the area and add Ribbon Falls as a side trip. The trailhead to the falls is roughly 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) from the Grand Canyon Lodge. You can stay at any of the campsites nearby, either at Cottonwood Campground or Bright Angel Campground.
9. Apache Falls
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
The scenic Apache Falls is another epic waterfall that you can hike in Arizona. By far, this is also one of the easiest as it is only a 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) round trip hike. It is also among the few waterfalls in the area situated on a river instead of a creek. Thus, giving it its natural flow and volume. The fall is hidden in the middle of the Salt River canyon and it is easy to reach. You can go the one-mile round trip hike from the designated parking lot. However, most will recommend that you take the off-trail way upstream if you want to fully enjoy the views along the Salt River. Remember to secure a permit from either San Carlos Apache or White Mountain Apache tribe as you can’t enter the trail without it.
10. Pacheta Falls
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
If you want to experience the majestic waterfalls in Arizona, Pacheta Falls is the place to be. This falls is a tributary creek and is a bit different from the typical desert waterfalls found in Arizona. The steep canyon slopes are lined with trees and draped in lush, green moss. The name Pacheta came from the two cowboys living in Pacheta Lake and were caught cheating at cards. They became infamous as the “pair of cheaters” or pacheta. The Apache Tribe are the occupants of the area for hundreds of years. Securing a special use permit to hike the Pacheta Falls is a requirement. Be sure to check with the White Mountain Apache tribe for the permit before you start the hike. Make sure to bring maps and keep in mind that swimming is not allowed. Overall, this trail is best for those who have experience when it comes to hiking as it is a 2.5-mile (4.02 kilometers) round trip hike. You need to be able to find routes as it can be quite tricky, hazardous, and rugged!
Planning your trip to Arizona, USA
Waterfall hikes are a great way to find your center. In addition to bringing you closer to nature, it also presents anyone with an avenue for serenity. In fact, most nature-based activities present this kind of calmness to the spirit. With that in mind, if you are looking to detox from your stressful life in the city, picking an adventure among the ones mentioned above is never a bad idea.
Get Trip101 in your inbox