14 Beautiful Arizona Waterfalls
Waterfalls are some of nature’s most breathtaking creations, and the desert land of Arizona is filled with some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the nation. The falls vary drastically in terms of size, surrounding, and in difficulty getting there. Some are easily accessible and are great for those who want a short trek or have younger visitors with them, while others involve a more elaborate multiple-day backpacking/camping journey. Many of the waterfalls allow for visitors to swim in the pools that form at the bottom, and some that shouldn’t be missed include the crystal-clear waters of Fossil Creek Waterfall and the Havasu Waterfall, which can be found on the historic Havasupai Indian Reservation. Photo: juancat/Fotolia
Though it may be quite a hike to get there, the astonishing beauty of Beaver Falls makes it worth the while. An 18-mile trek from the Havasu campground, the falls are filled with incredible pools and turquoise waters that cascade over limestone terraces. There are bolts, chains, and ladders to help you with your descent, and you’ll pass a beautiful historic burial site for the Havasupai people on your way there. Once you’re there, relax, take in the scenic view, and go for a refreshing swim in the refreshing pools. To visit Beaver Falls, you must already be camping at Havasu, which can be reserved with their tourism office.
Photo: Sebastien Fremont/Fotolia
»Bridal Wreath Falls
Three miles off the Douglas Spring Trailhead, Bridal Wreath Falls is a gorgeous aspect of Saguaro National Park. The path there, though short, can be moderately steep and should be attempted by fairly-experienced hikers. The best time to visit is between March and October when the weather is amazing. The remote trail is one of the best places to experience the beautiful desert surrounding that is home to flora and fauna such as deer, javelina, and coyotes. The falls themselves offer a great photographic opportunity and are shaded by tall canyon walls and a cottonwood-willow canopy.
A visit to Cibecue Falls is a canyoneering adventure that lets you see a side of Arizona that can’t be found elsewhere. Visitors can drive all the way to the trailhead; the drive itself is an adventure that takes you through narrow roads, past sheer cliffs, and along the gorgeous Salt River – you’ll even have to drive over the running Cibecue Creek to get to the parking point. Come prepared to get your feet wet as you hike through banks and rocks to get to the 30-foot-high waterfall. It’s an extremely peaceful and serene part of the desert and is wonderful for overnight camping.
Photo: jon manjeot/Fotolia
»Deer Creek Falls
Deer Creek Falls is a spectacular 180-foot waterfall with water plunging down into the Colorado River. The site is remote but can be accessed by both backpacking as well as white water rafting. You’ll need a backcountry camping permit if you plan on getting to Deer Creek Falls on a backpacking adventure. The general itinerary schedules five days and four nights to get to the falls and back; this includes a 14-mile hike each way, four miles the first day and six miles the next, and another four miles to the actual waterfall. There are many companies surrounding the area that offer rafting trips to the waterfall for a more fast-paced visit.
Photo: Sandy Woods/Fotolia
»Fossil Creek Waterfall
You can reach Fossil Creek Waterfall via the short, one-mile Waterfall Trail that will lead to the creek and the natural waterfall. Once there, reap the rewards of your journey by swimming in some of the most refreshing waters in the state. The space is usually secluded and offers picturesque sights to just relax and enjoy. If the thrill of the waterfall is too fast paced for you, head to one of the crystal-clear swimming holes just a ways off. Fossil Creek Waterfall and the surrounding area are open to the public from April to October and are available solely for day use and with a reserved permit.
Photo: Mike Perea/Fotolia
With a 1.5 difficulty level, even beginners will enjoy a trip to the Grand Falls in Coconino County, Arizona. It is one of the most stunning waterfalls in the state, at 181 feet high and surrounded by multiple terraces. While there, visitors will get to see various aspects of their surroundings such as the beautiful mini-gorge, the intriguing Grand Canyon-like cliffs, and various flora and fauna that reside there. If you’re not feeling too adventurous, you can still witness the beauty of Grand Falls from the many lookout gazebos that are perched at the edge of the cliffs.
Located within the historic Havasupai Indian Reservation, Havasu Falls is also popularly known as Havasupai Falls. Hikers, adventure-seekers, and nature lovers have been going there for years to witness its overwhelming beauty. The hike to the falls is 10 miles long one way, but once you’re there, the inviting blue-green waters make it worth your while. Go swimming in the paradise that is hidden amidst the Grand Canyon and have a rare, once-in-a-lifetime experience that will change your world. Prepare ahead as campground spaces must be reserved well in advance for a chance to visit the falls.
»Madera Canyon Waterfall
Madera Canyon Waterfall is one of nature’s best kept secrets that is well worth searching for if you’re in Arizona. Located 25 miles southeast of Tucson, the waterfalls can be reached with a short hike through the Proctor Trail in Southern Arizona’s Madera Canyon. About a mile away from the waterfall, visitors can relax and watch the water flow through Madera Creek as they take advantage of the picturesque picnicking area. The waterfall is one of the more secluded of its kind and offers a great place to relax and clear your mind.
While the Havasupai Indian Reservation is filled with gorgeous waterfalls, Mooney Falls may be one of the more picturesque options there. It is definitely the tallest waterfall on the reservation with a plunge of over 190 feet. This waterfall may be a little bit harder to access, but the view that it offers is well worth the effort. If you’re staying at the campgrounds or the Havasupai Lodge, getting to the waterfall is a six-mile round-trip day hike through some steep cliffs. Visitors may want to gain more experience before attempting to go through unpaved trails, climb cliffs and ladders, and go through a pair of tunnels to reach the base of the waterfall.
With a difficulty level of 5, getting to Navajo Falls may be one of the more difficult treks to get through, but its location on the Havasupai Indian Reservation also make it one of the most beautiful in the state. The falls came to be from a flash flood that affected the canyon in 2008 and changed its landscape forever. Travelers have to get through the short, 0.5-mile unpaved hike to get to both the Upper Navajo Falls and the Lower Navajo Falls. Make sure to explore the area a bit, lounge in the large pool that Upper Navajo Falls pours into, and just enjoy the scenic setting around you.
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Located in Arizona’s Catalina Foothills, Seven Falls is a lovely oasis in the middle of the desert. The Seven Falls trail is 2 ½ miles long and takes visitors through some of Tucson’s most beautiful landscapes before reaching the surreal set of waterfalls. The adventure starts with a tram from the parking lot to the nearby trailheads, which will then lead you to Bear Canyon and the falls. In addition to experience the stunning views, you’ll also be able to explore the sycamore trees and other flora in the surroundings. You can then end your hike to the falls with a refreshing swim in the many clear pools the water cascades to.
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Slide Rock is actually a series of short cascades that are surrounded by the signature red rocks the area is renowned for. The view offers a refreshing change of scenery as you trek through the area, and the contrasting site offers some gorgeous photo opportunities. Slide Rock is great for younger hikers as well since it ends with a number of natural swimming holes along Oak Creek. The waterfall is extremely easy to reach and includes following a quarter-mile paved path through old cabins, restroom facilities, and historical buildings before descending steps that lead to the banks of Oak Creek and starting a ten-minute walk to where the falls can be seen.
Photo: Teressa L. Jackson/Fotolia
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»Tanque Verde Falls
Tanque Verde is a beautiful waterfall with an 80-foot plunge in Tucson, Arizona. Visitors can get there with a short hike on the Lower Tanque Verde Falls Trailhead. During the hike you’ll come across many other smaller waterfalls and swimming holes, which are great to stop and relax in while there. Once you get to the creek, there’s no real trail and you’ll just have to follow the creek bed to get to the falls. Though swimming is allowed, be careful, as the granite in the area can get very slippery. Don’t forget to bring your camera along because you’ll want to capture the beauty of this hidden waterfall.
Photo: Chris Hill/Fotolia
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»Wolf Creek Falls
Often considered one of the area’s best kept secrets, Wolf Creek Falls is a more private and hidden waterfall that plunges 90 feet over granite cliffs. Getting there is fairly easy on the one-mile, round trip journey on Wolf Creek Loop Trail 384. Once you reach the creek, it’s a short walk to the falls through easily-maneuverable boulders, small canyons, and fallen trees. On the way to the falls you’ll be able to see breathtaking views of the mountains, a historic mining site, and stunning flora and fauna, including various bird species. Don’t forget to take your camera along as you’ll definitely want to capture the crystal-clear waters of Wolf Creek Falls.
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14 Beautiful Arizona Waterfalls
- Beaver Falls, Photo: Courtesy of Sebastien Fremont - Fotolia.com
- Bridal Wreath Falls, Photo: Courtesy of elvin - Fotolia.com
- Cibecue Falls, Photo: Courtesy of jon manjeot - Fotolia.com
- Deer Creek Falls, Photo: Courtesy of Sandy Woods - Fotolia.com
- Fossil Creek Waterfall, Photo: Courtesy of Mike Perea - Fotolia.com
- Grand Falls, Photo: Courtesy of natureguy - Fotolia.com
- Havasu Falls, Photo: Courtesy of tiva48 - Fotolia.com
- Madera Canyon Waterfall, Photo: Courtesy of Dennis - Fotolia.com
- Mooney Falls, Photo: Courtesy of Leo_Visions - Fotolia.com
- Navajo Falls, Photo: Courtesy of lightphoto2 - Fotolia.com
- Seven Falls, Photo: Courtesy of Jana - Fotolia.com
- Slide Rock, Photo: Courtesy of Teressa L. Jackson - Fotolia.com
- Tanque Verde Falls, Photo: Courtesy of Chris Hill - Fotolia.com
- Wolf Creek Falls, Photo: Courtesy of vlorzor - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of juancat - Fotolia.com
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