You would never know Arizona is home to some of the most amazing waterfall hikes in the entire country. Arizona has year-round hiking weather, stunning blue water, swim in caves, toilet bowls, waterfalls to go behind, incredible rock colors, lakes and truly is an adventure paradise! Not to boast but this is the best compilation of Arizona waterfalls on the internet. I actually made this article due to how upset and lazy I found all of the other articles on this subject. So if you trust one article… trust this one.
Having lived in 4 great states and 2 Provinces, while visiting the majority of States and Provinces, I think Arizona is the best one to live in. From cost of living to the weather and of course the outdoors. There are so many incredible waterfalls to see in Arizona and I had to make sure I visited them all to give you a look into the best waterfalls to see in the state!
I will say it is a little unfair as the top few are all in the same area and many of us know what area that is… however there are still a ton of stunning waterfalls to see that also have a lot of other great features to checkout while you are there.
I love water, the 50% Native American tribe side of me are actually a water tribe, so maybe it is part of the reason I have always been drawn to it. I have made it a mission to see as many waterfalls and swimming holes in Arizona as I could. Below you will find the best waterfalls in Arizona. Some are very easy to get to and some are a little bit tougher or you need a permit. With that said, if you are in Phoenix there are a plethora of options within 2 hours to get in a great hike and see a beautiful waterfall. There is a great mix below of short hikes, long hikes, permits needed, no permits needed and overall the best hikes you have to see in Arizona.
Of course you will find Waterfalls from here sprinkled throughout
If you are looking for adventure than Arizona is your spot! The waterfall adventures below are just the start of the natural beauty. You don’t want to miss The Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Devil’s Bridge, Sedona Caves, Sedona itself, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, all of the lakes, hiking and plethora of outdoor adventures in the amazing state.
There are still a couple water holes I am missing but overall I have seen most all of them! Pacheta Falls and Ribbon Falls in the Grand Canyon are the only waterfalls I haven’t been to and would add to this article.
Starting off small… these falls only make the list due to their proximity to Cibecue Falls. The falls are a cool little spot to hangout at, catch some sun and just listen to the falls. You can actually drive right up to them if you have a 4×4 or SUV. They are right near the Cibecue Falls turnoff thus they make a great pair for you to stop by when you leave Cibecue. There are a little hard to find so see here for a guide on finding them as well as hiking Cibecue Falls.
Massacre Falls is unique as it is the closest to the city of Phoenix being just 45 minutes from downtown. Located in the Superstition Mountains the trailhead is right by the best Phoenix hike in Flatiron via Siphon Draw Trail. You definitely need to do both of these at some point as each of them offers incredible scenery and views. Both trailheads are just 5 minutes from each other.
The hike to Massacre Falls is perfect as you steadily climb up the Superstition Mountains, which are rich in history just like the name “Massacre Falls” might make you think. Yes, there was a Massacre, there was gold, pioneers, Indians and the place is swarming with spirits and history. The hike is best done in March-April during snow melt if you really want to see it coming down or can try after a monsoon. Unfortunately it is dry for a good chunk of the year. For a guide, tips and info see our article here.
While not roaring falls the surrounding area and caves are worth the prices of admission! Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is another great place for the whole family. There are picnic spaces, lookout decks and then hikes if you want explore some more, which you need to.
The natural bridge and view from the decks are impressive by themselves but there is so much more. There are multiple hikes all of short lengths that will lead you into the cave beneath the natural bridge, which is probably the most amazing site. The hikes will also lead you down the streams and through springs, over rocks and overall a great adventure. The 8-year-old kids and the 33-year-old kids will love it! For more info, cost, tips and a full guide to Tonto Natural Bridge see here.
This is another great little set of waterfalls and it is great for the whole family. While some of these hikes can be strenuous, this one is relatively easy enough for all ages. It is a great place for the kids to swim, jump off the log and explore around the area. It is 3 hours round trip and only 150 feet of elevation. There is a slightly difficult park for the elderly but they manage to make it easy enough. See here for our full Water Wheel Falls guide.
Seven Falls is a perfect hike and is unique because it truly is 7 falls! Much like a few of Arizona’s falls it can be a little seasonal if you want to see them flowing well. With that said, they are still great to visit year round and are another great hike to escape the Arizona summer heat. They are perfect as well because they are right within the city of Tucson if you are ever visiting.
You get to cross the water multiple times and the springs you walk through are nature at its finest. It is a beautiful hike although a little long at 8.2 miles. I loved it as a trail run as it is relatively flat and the scenery is amazing. You may also see all sorts of wildlife along the way. For the full guide and how to get there see our Seven Falls Article here.
To be fair Cibecue Falls could be ranked higher but that just shows how many stunning hikes there are in Arizona! Depending the time you go the water can be muddy due to snow melt and monsoons or crystal blue. In my opinion but are pretty amazing and worth seeing.
I love this hike as it truly is the perfect summer hike in Arizona to escape the heat. You cross the water multiple times to keep cool and end in a beautiful canyon with the epic waterfall to end your journey. It is only 2 hours from Phoenix and a permit is needed so see our guide for info. You should also combine this with Apache Falls, which you can drive right up to. See our complete Cibecue Guide for info.
Fossil Creek is the perfect spot for people who aren’t hikers. It is a pretty short trek to one of the more stunning waterfalls you might ever see. While it is great that it is so accessible… it also makes it a little less enjoyable due to the amount of people who hang around it and the chaos that ensues.
It is still a place you absolutely have to visit though as the water and stream is so incredible. You can cliff jump, walk and sit behind the waterfall and even snorkel to see the fish in the water. If you want to challenge yourself you can hike back further past the waterfall for miles along the stream and through some beautiful springs. Permits are needed so See here for the complete Fossil Creek guide with tips.
Beaver Falls really arguably could be in the top 4 but I didn’t want to crowd the top with Havasupai waterfalls as that is lazy and not fair to people who can’t get there. Beaver Falls is a stunning set of falls and is the perfect spot to picnic and play in beautiful water.
Beaver Falls offers cliff jumping, swimming in multiple sets of pools and also there are waterfalls you can go under! There is so much to see and it is even the gateway to go longer to The Confluence. If you go just beyond the falls there are also some stunning pools that offer an even better spot for cliff jumping with multiple levels depending how high you want to jump from.
The hike to Beaver Falls is one of the most beautiful things on earth as well. The whole path offers stunning views and walking along side, through and over that stunning blue water. If you are lucky enough you might even run into some bighorn sheep. See here for a complete guide for hiking to Beaver Falls.
If you come during the right time of the year, Sycamore Falls in absolutely unreal. You will feel like a kid again going from waterfall to waterfall! During the Spring runoff there are as many as 5 amazing waterfalls to see in the area!
One of the falls is almost more impressive than the main picturesque falls. This area is great because you can make your own adventure. Whether you want to hike for miles or just do a one mile loop to see all of the waterfalls, you can do what you feel spending one hour in the area or 5. Some of the waterfalls you can carefully climb to the top of and get a unique and amazing view.
You will find yourself scrambling all over the area to see unique vantage points as there is so much to see in the rather small area! The drive out to the falls is also amazing as there are a ton of unique pictures and sites on the way out.
You don’t need a permit for the hike and it is less than an hour from Flagstaff. You can couple this with a visit to Grand Falls or if you have time, it is close enough if you are coming back from the Grand Canyon. It is only about 30 minutes off the highway and well worth checking it out. See here for a full guide to Sycamore Falls.
See here to see what the toilet bowl is!
Fossil Springs is one of my favorite places on earth. Just 15 minutes from Strawberry and 30 minutes from Payson is this incredible day hike. It is an 8 mile round trip, which takes 3-5 hours round trip. However, I recommend staying for a few hours, having a picnic and enjoying this oasis! See here for full information on the hike with tips and permit info.
I combined these two falls together as I could gush on and on about Havasupai Falls and take up this entire article. Both are within 1 minute of walking and are equally unique and beautiful. Both are located in the Havasupai Falls region and are the first falls you will see on your hike. 50 Foot Falls are hidden a little up behind Navajo Falls and are absolutely stunning.
50 Foot Falls seems like it is a place you should stumble upon in Hawaii. The falls themselves are stunning and then it is so lush surrounding it with springs and a little mini rainforest area you walk though. I recommend getting to you campsite first and coming back to both of these on day 2 or 3. See here for a complete Havasupai Falls Guide.
3. Grand Falls
These falls are just that… Grand! Also known as the chocolate waterfalls they are just outside Flagstaff Arizona! They are created via a volcanic waterfall and are incredible due to how wide and tall they are. What is great is that there is no permit required and it just a short jaunt from Flagstaff if you were up there visiting. The overall drop is 185 feet, which is more than Niagara Falls!
With that said, these are seasonal falls so you will want to visit them either during Spring runoff season in March & April or during monsoon season. Any type of vehicle can get there and is definitely something to see.
Havasu Falls is one of the most stunning waterfalls on earth and I will try not to gush about Havasupai Falls too much but you HAVE to go. I go on more about Havasupai Falls below in #1s info if you want to be absolutely convinced on why Havasupai Falls should be your #1 bucket list trip ever. Here is a the our complete Havasupai Falls Guide.
Havasu Falls are most well known falls and typical money shot for people when showing the Havasupai Falls region to others. With good reason, the falls are incredible! That blue water and the power from the falls is absolutely unreal. It also helps that you probably hiked 9 miles to this point with a 40-50lb backpack and finally you see the end!
Walking up to the falls lets you know you’ve made it to the campground and the payoff is no joke. You probably wish you could jump from the side of the cliff into the falls if you were able to. There will most likely be people frollicing in the water or having picnics and it truly becomes an oasis in the dessert after your trek in. Only one waterfall is more stunning than this one!
I don’t care what you say… Mooney Falls is the best waterfall at Havasupai falls and in Arizona. I think when you hike or travel you always want that “feeling.” Only some places on earth give you that experience where you don’t see it… you feel it. New York gives you a feeling, Rome gives you that feeling and when you walk up to Mooney Falls… you get it.
The first time, 2nd, 3rd, 10th time I have walked up to Mooney Falls, each time the Jurassic Park theme song just starts playing in my head. Not only is the waterfall stunning but the view of the green giant trees surrounded by the cliffs and then the blue water stream that seems to go on forever! If a brontosaurus poked its head out of the trees I wouldn’t have been surprised.
Someone tried to debate me that Havasupai Falls wasn’t arguably the most amazing place on earth… they failed. After 30+ countries I still say Havasupai Falls is easily top 3 if not #1. It truly is unbelievable that it is in the USA… it should be on some island in the Pacific somewhere. Being cut off from civilization, the payoff of a long-grueling hike, the insane climb down to the bottom of Mooney Falls, the colors… the miles and miles of unmatched beauty. It’s truly an experience like no other and you have to go! Here is our complete Havasupai Guide article.
Hey I’m Fraser. My site is dedicated to the 22nd century person with a lust for travel and adventure, need for time efficient recipe ideas as well as anyone in need of self-help or a pick-me up! Thanks for visiting Inspire Travel Eat!