Hikes in Arizona with Waterfalls

15 Amazing Waterfalls in Arizona

Arizona has some amazing landscapes but I think one of the highlights are the hikes in Arizona with waterfalls.  Have you heard of Havasu Falls?  This is one of the most popular hikes in Arizona but there are other hikes in the Grand Canyon State to waterfalls.

arizona waterfalls

Here are the 15 most amazing Waterfalls in Arizona that you can hike to, swim at, or cool off at in Arizona.  Hiking Arizona Waterfalls is an experience you will remember.

Tips for Hiking in Arizona

Arizona is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.  There is a hike for everyone on this list and for different fitness levels.  Also, note that it is dry and hot (in the summer) and make sure you know what you are getting into before you start.  Here are a few tips for Arizona hiking:

  • Bring a reusable water bottle and lots of water! Remember you are in the sun and you will need to drink lots of water. I love my LifeStraw Filtered Water Bottle.  I can refill this bottle anywhere and it comes with a carabiner to connect it to my daypack.
  • Check the Weather – days over 100 degrees are very common.  On top of that there is quite a bit of air pollution in Phoenix which can make it suffocating.  Make sure to check.
  • Hiking boots or sandals that will protect your feet! I love good shoes.  I need all the support and help I can get.  I actually love these sandals for hiking and have a whole post on Merrell vs Keen shoes for hiking.  I also love these hiking boots which I used for Hiking in the Grand Canyon.
  • Bring hiking poles for balance and to protect your knees.  I know many experienced hikers (and even amateur ones) think that hiking poles are for old people who lose their balance.  Actually, hiking poles can help when going down steep inclines or when scrambling over rocks.  They are great to hike with even for the most experienced hiker. 
  • Wear a sunhat. I feel like this whole post is about how high you are in the mountains and how much closer you are to the sun but it is so true. At elevation, you are closer to the sun and more likely to burn. Wear sun protection such as a sun hat and sunscreen.
  • Be aware of the wildlife. This is the Southwest and you will need to watch out for snakes and other wildlife such as moose or a bear.  Please stay away from wildlife and do not feed them.  I recommend carrying bear spray as well.
  • Start Early – If you want to avoid the traffic and the heat you will need to start your hike early.  That way it will be nice and cool and the smog will not affect you either.
  • Leave no trace. If you are new to the concept of Leave No Trace it is all about preserving the environment to ensure it is in the same or better condition when you leave it.  This means that you should stick to the trails and carry out everything that you carried in.  This is a great explanation of the Leave No Trace principles!
  • Water shoes are great for water hikes– If you don’t have a pair, I highly suggest it as they are affordable.  I have an article on the pros and cons of several pairs of water shoes.
  • Bring Bug Spray and a snack: Be sure to bring everything you need including a snack like a protein bar plus BUG SPRAY.

Hiking Arizona Waterfalls – the best waterfalls in Arizona

Fossil Creek Falls

Fossil Creek Falls is located near Pine, Arizona and you will need to drive 21 miles down Fossil Creek road which is unpaved to get to the Trailhead.

waterfalls in arizona
Clear water running over rocks at Fossil Creek, Arizona

Fossil Creek Waterfall is about 25 feet high and the waterfall is quite wide and beautiful.

You can go cliff jumping at the falls, but always be aware of the water level before attempting to jump.  Usually there are deep pools of water found here but again check first.  There are multiple swimming areas around the falls.

There is a heavy calcium content in the water that turns it the beautiful turquoise color.

There is a $10 fee to enter Fossil Creek and this also reserves your parking space at the trailhead.  It is an easy enough hike to the waterfalls.

Remember to bring plenty of water and also look out for rattlesnakes.

Location: near Pine, Arizona

Length: The hike is 1.5 miles long

Cibecue Falls

Cibecue Falls has to be Arizona’s best kept secret.  This is an amazing Arizona waterfall and the hike on its own is fantastic but once you get to the waterfall you will see what I mean!

hikes in arizona with waterfalls

The hike to Cibecue Falls is 4 miles long and rated moderate in difficulty.  You gain over 220 feet in elevation on this hike.you’ll need to go to the Cibecue Creek Falls Trailhead in Gila County, Arizona.

Permits cost $30 and can be bought online.  You will need to log in to purchase and this will also give you access to Apache Falls.  There is a dirt road leading to the trailhead, which is found along the Salt River Canyon area.

Some say this waterfall in Arizona is a miniature Havasu Falls.  The waterfall is over 40 feet tall and falls into a pool of emerald water and of course, there are the red rocks of the American Southwest surrounding the falls.

This is one of the best Arizona waterfalls that is not well known yet.  Get there soon before the crowds!

Location: near Globe, Arizona in the Salt River Canyon

Length: The hike is 4 miles long

Apache Falls

Apache Falls is another hidden gem in the Salt River Canyon area.  This is a smaller waterfall in Arizona but worth a visit if you are going to Cibecue Falls.

The hike to Apache Falls is 1 mile long and rated easy in difficulty as the trail is quite flat.

Permits cost $30 and can be bought online.  You will need to log in to purchase and this will also give you access to Apache Falls.

The walk to the falls will take about 10 minutes and you will hear the waterfalls before you actually see it.

This hike is quick and easy but remember to bring water and snacks if you would like to have a picnic by the waterfalls.

Location: near Globe, Arizona in the Salt River Canyon

Length: The hike is 1 mile long

Seven Falls

Seven Falls is located in the Sabino Canyon outside of Tucson near the Catalina Foothills.  This is one of the top rated hikes in Tucson and one of the best waterfalls in Arizona.

Seven Falls waterfalls in arizona

The hike is 2.5 miles going through the Catalina Foothills and lush landscapes while gaining 900 feet in elevation making it a moderate in difficulty levels.

Parking is $5 and from the parking lot just follow the signs for Seven Falls Trail.  You will be crossing a river at several points during this hike which I find quite nice in the heat of the Sonoran Desert.

Location: near Tucson, Arizona in the Sabino Canyon

Length: The hike is 2.5 miles long

Havasu Falls, Havasupai Reservation

Havasu Falls is located in Supai, Arizona and is THE most popular Arizona Waterfall and for good reason.  This waterfall in Arizona has risen in popularity in recent years and the hike to do in Arizona.  Competition is fierce to get a permit but the waterfalls make it all worth it.

Once you’ve secured your permit, you will need to hike 10 miles to the campground on this Navajo land in the Havasupai Reservation.  From there you can visit 7 different waterfalls with the Havasu Falls being the star of the show.

This is a moderate to hard hike as you will gain 2000 feet in elevation on the way back out.  On the way there, it is all downhill which can be harder for some hikers.

Location:  Havasupai Reservation, near the Grand Canyon

Length: The hike is 10 miles one way into the campground and then onto the falls

Hidden Falls, Havasupai Reservation

Havasupai Falls Arizona is a major destination for hikers who want to visit the blue green waterfalls. Hidden Falls is part of the Havasupai Reservation and is actually before you reach the campsite.

Hidden Falls is a 50 foot waterfall that also allows people to cliff jump from the top.  There are places to jump off that are 30, 40, and 50 feet high so you can choose.

The hiking distance from the campground to the falls is one mile there or two miles round trip.

Again, this is a moderate to hard hike as you will gain 2000 feet in elevation on the way back out.  On the way there, it is all downhill which can be harder for some hikers.

Location:  Havasupai Reservation, near the Grand Canyon

Length: The hike is 10 miles one way into the campground and then onto the falls

Mooney Falls, Havasupai Reservation

Mooney Falls is the tallest Arizona Waterfall and the tallest of the Havasupai Reservation waterfalls.

The waterfall cascades down an amazing 200 feet into the beautiful turquoise pools below.

You will follow the same trail to the Havasupai Campground but this waterfall is harder to reach and is a further half mile hike that is quite difficult because it gains 200 feet in elevation.

Location:  Havasupai Reservation, near the Grand Canyon

Length: The hike is 10 miles one way into the campground and then half a mile onto the falls

Beaver Falls, Havasupai Reservation

Beaver Falls Trek is an 8 mile round trip hike and is well worth the trip.  This is a less popular waterfall so it is quite a bit quieter than the more popular Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls.

I recommend visiting all of the waterfalls in the Havasu area.  This waterfall is a wider fall instead of a free fall waterfall like the others.

The trail is intermediate in difficulty, but hikers can visit at any time of the year.

Beaver Falls is the farthest away waterfall from the campsite but well worth the trek.

Location:  Havasupai Reservation, near the Grand Canyon

Length: The hike is 10 miles one way into the campground and then 8 miles onto the falls

Fifty Foot Falls, Havasupai Reservation

One of the five waterfalls at the Havasu Site, this waterfall is actually before you make it to the campsite.  If you are hot and sweaty and need a break before making it to the campsite, this is the waterfall for you.

Actually I wouldn’t miss Fifty Foot Falls whether you see it on the way in or the way out.  Its a nice quiet place to hang out and go for a swim.

Location:  Havasupai Reservation, near the Grand Canyon

Length: The hike is 10 miles one way into the campground and then onto the falls

Navajo Falls, Havasupai Reservation

Navajo Falls is located right below Fifty Foot Falls in Supai, Arizona and is one of the most popular falls in the state.

A few things to know about this waterfall.

  • There is a ledge under the waterfall that you can climb on and see under the waterfall.
  • These falls are closest to the Havasupai Campground.
  • They are the sunniest of the falls and there is very little shade there

The water beneath the falls is quite deep but there are parts of the pool that are quite shallow so be careful.

Location:  Havasupai Reservation, near the Grand Canyon

Length: The hike is 10 miles one way into the campground and then onto the falls

Ribbon Falls

Ribbon Falls is located in the Grand Canyon National Park along the north rim.  You can reach the waterfall from North Kaibab Trail.

Ribbon Falls arizona waterfalls

The roundtrip hike is classified as moderate and is 16.8 miles.  You will gain 4,500 feet in elevation on this hike.

The falls are actually quite secluded and not exactly touristy but well worth the trip if you’re in the Grand Canyon.

Location:  near the Grand Canyon

Length: The hike is 17 miles

Pacheta Falls

Pacheta Falls is found near Whiteriver, Arizona, and located in the White Mountain Apache Reservation.

waterfalls of arizona
White Mountains Arizona

No swimming is permitted at this waterfall and you must purchase a permit to hike to this waterfall.

It is quite a rough ride to the waterfalls as this is an off-road experience, so only four wheel drive vehicles are permitted.

The waterfall height is 131 feet tall.

Location: near Whiteriver, Arizona

Length: The hike is 2.5 miles round trip

Romero Pools and Waterfalls

The Romero Pools are located near Tucson, Arizona and in the Catalina State Park.  To enter the park you must pay $7 per vehicle.

The hike is classified as moderate.  The hike in total is 2.8 miles one way or 5.6 miles round trip.  The first mile of the trail is the easiest and then it gets more difficult as it is rocky and has a 900 foot gain in elevation.

The Romero Falls feed the pools and offer a cool dip for those who need to be refreshed from the hot temperature.

Location: near Tucson, Arizona

Length: The hike is 5.6 miles round trip

Grand Falls

Grand Falls is 180 feet tall and located near Flagstaff.  It is part of the Navajo Nation and to get to the waterfalls you must do some off roading.

 best waterfalls in arizona

You will need to get a permit from the Navajo Nation before you visit.  One interesting thing about this water fall is the color of the water – it looks like chocolate milk!

The muddy waters of Grand Falls makes it look like chocolate falling over the falls into the Colorado River below.

Location: near Flagstaff, Arizona

Length: The hike is 1 mile round trip

Tanque Verde Falls

Lower Tanque Verde Falls is a short hike near Tucson, Arizona that leads to several waterfalls along the trail.  If you follow the narrow canyon the largest water is at the end at 80 feet high.

 best waterfalls in arizona
The gorgeous canyon walls of Tanque Verde falls, located just outside of Tuscon, Arizona, USA.

The first waterfall you will reach is Lower Tanque which is about a mile along the trail and has a 30 foot waterfall.  Further along there is an 80 foot waterfall.

From the start of the trail, it is a mile before you reach lower Tanque, which has a 30-foot cascade.

From there, it is a short distance to the 80-foot plunging cascade into the deep pool.

There is rope swing here for fun.

Location: near Tucson, Arizona

Length: The hike is 1.6 miles round trip

Water Wheel and Ellison Creek Cascades

The Water Wheel and Ellison Creek Waterfalls are located near Payson, Arizona.  The trail starts at Water Wheel and it is then a quarter mile hike to the swimming hole area.

It is 1.8 miles round trip to the falls and back and you will gain 100 feet in elevation on this hike.  The hike goes along the river and then eventually end at Ellison Creek Waterfall.  There is a swimming hole there.

It costs $6 to enter the site and it is a unique location by the river.  If you are looking for a longer walk, you can continue on to the Bridal Veil Falls

Location: near Payson, Arizona

Length: The hike is 1.8 miles round trip

Conclusion – Best Arizona Waterfalls

There you have it the 15 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Arizona.  Each time I keep coming back to Arizona I fall more and more in love with the Grand Canyon State and all of the amazing natural landscape with the Waterfalls and Hikes being the top rated things to do there.

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The best waterfalls in arizona

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American Southwest Obsessed

Nicole is a travel expert who has been traveling to the American Southwest since 1992. There is so much to see and do in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and California. I spend part of the year in Phoenix and travel around the area visiting all the best places and going on the best hikes. Check out my detailed destination guides, the best hiking in each state guides, and the travel gear you need for your next trip.

12 thoughts on “Hikes in Arizona with Waterfalls

  1. All of these waterfalls look extraordinary. How do you ever choose which one to visit? Alas, I’m not great at hiking (especially) at elevation, but I’d be willing to get better at it if it meant seeing some of these places. And my husband loves to hike, so he’d be all for it! I loved the secluded look of Cibecue Falls, but I like the promise of the cool pool and the shorter hike at Tanque Verde Falls. Honestly, I love the look of them all!

    1. Honestly it is so hard to choose! You’re so right. THese waterfalls in Arizona are stunning. I hope you get a chance to visit.

  2. Wow. I do love hunting for waterfalls. These are spectacular with such interesting rock formations and ledges. Love the contrasts of rock and water too. We’d be hanging out to drone the lot of them!

  3. Each one more stunning than the other! I love waterfalls. I find it difficult to shoot these waterfalls to get that right silky flow of water. Love your pictures.

  4. Wow, that was indeed a full list of gorgeous waterfalls in Arizona! Although the Grand falls is an eye-catching for me, aside from the interesting muddy color, it totally looks stunning! So anyone here is free to take a swim right, as long as they have a permit!

  5. Its amazing to see that despite Arizona being a rocky dusty state (not quite sure if it’s like that all over as I never visited the state…yet), there are a heck of a lot of waterfalls in beautiful surroundings. Would love to do some hikes around here (when its not baking hot) just to check them out.

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  7. Arizona has incredible natural scenes! We have been to a few of these waterfalls but we will have to take a few hikes and see the rest! Thanks for the list!
    – Kam

  8. I had no idea that there are so many waterfalls in Arizona! Cibecue in particular looks worth the 4 mile hike especially if it’s not one that many people know about.

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