To most of the world, when they think of Arizona, it is dusty with a few cacti. And most of the world is wrong. Arizona has one of the world’s most diverse landscapes, from deserts, massive canyons, stunning blue waters, and snowy peaks pushing past 12,000 feet. Even better, it has some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the western United States. The best waterfalls in Arizona aren’t hidden, but they take some time and effort to visit. Therefore, the following is not a ranking but a list.
Before we get to the list of Arizona waterfalls, please follow the Leave No Trace principles when visiting, so future generations can visit these gems.
Planning to visit Havasupai in 2023? Read everything you need to know about the trip.
Best Waterfalls in Arizona
- Havasu Falls: Located in the Grand Canyon, Havasu Falls is a beautiful blue-green waterfall surrounded by red rock cliffs. The hike to Havasu Falls is about 10 miles round trip and requires a permit to access. Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls are also breathtaking and a must-visit when you hike down into Havasupai. This is the greatest of the Arizona waterfalls.
- Fossil Creek Falls: Fossil Creek Falls is wildly popular during the summer and on weekends due to its stunning turquoise waters. The hike’s length depends on where you park and if you have parking permits. If you get a permit to park in the parking lots, the trail isn’t more than a few miles. However, you can also park further away, and it turns into an 8-mile round-trip hike with all the elevation gain coming on the way back. Learn more and find permits here.
- Seven Falls: Located in the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, Arizona, Seven Falls is a series of seven cascading waterfalls that can be accessed via an 8-mile round-trip hike. The trail is rated moderately challenging and offers beautiful views of the surrounding desert and mountains. The trail starts at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center and slowly traverses uphill as you check out the Arizona waterfalls.
- Cibecue Falls: Located on the east side of the Superstition Mountains, Cibecue Falls is a stunning and fantastic place for a day trip. The hike is about three miles round trip, but please note that it is on Native Land, and a permit is required to visit. Also, no swimming is allowed in the pool below the falls.
- Grand Falls: Another of the best waterfalls in Arizona, this one, like the above, sits on Native Land. Grand Falls is also only prevalent after rain when the water turns chocolate. However, check the water levels because it can get dangerous if flowing too much. A good time to visit is when it’s over 200 cubic feet. If it’s in the thousands, that’s way too high! Learn more details here.
Tips for hiking to Arizona waterfalls
- Bring plenty of water and a water filter to ensure you stay hydrated.
- Have sun protection, including long sleeves, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunblock.
- Tell your family where you’re going if hiking alone. Or bring a comms device.
- If hiking in the summer, start early and try to avoid hiking in the mid-day. Regardless of where you are, it can reach 80+, even in the high country.
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
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