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!Having lived all over North America and seeing most every area, Arizona is one of the most beautiful regions with some of the most incredible sites, colors and of course year-round great temperature.
If you are looking for adventure than Arizona is your spot! The waterfall adventures below are just the start of the natural beauty Arizona has to offer.
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 hard to see some of the falls as the top few are all in the same area and many of us know what area that is, which is very hard to get passes for.
However, there are still a ton of stunning waterfalls to see that are easily accessible, which also have a lot of other great features to checkout while you are there.
With that said, 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 this stunning area sprinkled throughout the article.
Aside from these you also don’t want to miss The Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, 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 then 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 aren’t that great but they 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. The falls 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” suggests. 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 the falls or can try after a monsoon. Unfortunately it is dry for a good chunk of the year. See here for the full guide, tips and info.
While Tonto Natural Bridge doesn’t boast roaring falls, the surrounding area and caves are worth the price of admission!
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is also a great place for the whole family. There are picnic spaces, lookout decks and then hikes of all lengths if you want explore.
The natural bridge and view from the decks are impressive by themselves but there is so much more to see below.
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 of the entire area.
The hikes will also lead you down along streams, through springs, over rocks and overall a great adventure. The 8-year-old kids to the 45-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. You can spend an entire day here with a picnic and enjoying all of the pools and falls.
It is 3 hours round trip and only 150 feet of elevation. There is a slightly difficult part 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, so come at the right time 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 but it is mostly flat.
I loved it as a trail run as there isn’t a ton of elevation change 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 easily could be ranked higher on this list 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. However, don’t let the time of year stop you as you need to see it no matter what.
I love this hike as it truly is the perfect summer hike in Arizona to escape the heat. You cross the water multiple times so you can keep cool and the trail ends in a beautiful canyon with the epic waterfall.
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 are 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 if you ever get a chance to visit the Havasupai region.
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. It truly is one of my favorite adventure places around as there were so many waterfalls, pretty views and places to hike down to etc.
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.
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.
There is no day hike on earth that offers as much as Bob Bear. The hike down is pretty long but then once you get to the bottom the entire world opens up! Nowhere else can you swim into caves, cliff jump, walk on top of waterfalls, swim into grottos and of course jump into the terrifying toilet bowl.
There is even the addition of walking to the springs, which are their own little peaceful utopia on their own. Here you cross streams over the rocks and end up in this incredible little swimming hole with no one in sight.
If you do one hike in Arizona it has to be this one! The permits sell out very early, especially on the weekends so be sure to get your permit soon and plan your trip!
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 each other 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 somewhat seasonal falls so you will ideally 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 desert after your trek in. Only one waterfall is more stunning than this one!
I don’t care what anyone says… Mooney Falls is the best waterfall in the Havasupai region and in all of Arizona. I think when you hike or travel you always want to get “that feeling.”
Only some places on earth give you an 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 is unreal and then add to that the blue water stream that seems to go on forever!
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.
What waterfalls would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!