Maybe the best named hike in Arizona and the area is filled with mystique and lore. Legend has it minors were on an expedition to mine gold in the area and they were ambushed and killed by Apache Indians. As you know if you have been out to the Superstition Mountains there is the old mining ghost town, where you can learn more about the area and explore some of the areas history.

The hike itself is a perfect length and not too long or overly hard but enough to get some great exercise in. You will get incredible views and if you are lucky and time it right, you can see the beautiful large waterfall during the spring runoff. You will be treated to stunning views of the Superstition Mountains as well as the valley as you climb up to the falls.

Parking and finding the trail is a little tricky although Google Maps will take you to the right spot. The starting point is adjacent to the Jacob’s Crosscut trail. Jacob’s trail goes back SW where you will want to exit the parking lot on the NE side of the parking lot and walk NE for 1/4 mile when you will see the true trail start.

Massacre Grounds Trail to Massacre Falls - Superstition Mountains



Elevation Gain:

1,800 Feet


5.5 Miles - (2-3 hours)

The hike begins from the NE side of the parking lot where you will enter into the Superstition area and the hike itself is a moderate incline most of the way. Half a mile in or so you will pass through the fence where the old trailhead had you start.

Soon after you will pass a little cave up the left to checkout if you’d like. I was lucky enough to see some very exciting things along the way including what I assume is a large lizard skeleton and a tarantula!

Seeing a tarantula was an unnerving bucket list check and it was so interested just to see it slowly walk around an ant pile. The good news is that if you were were to get bitten by a tarantula it actually is weaker of a pain than a bee sting and has less venom than a bee. So, be relieved to know that a tarantula is harmless to humans aside from the nightmares you may have down the road.

The rest of the hike is pretty straightforward up the hill and be sure to turn around and checkout the epic views of the valley behind you. There are pretty rock formations throughout as well so you can get some pretty pictures. Once you get to the end you will come to a fork in the road. Going straight or left you will continue to the edge of a cliff, which is pretty to see. However, to get to the falls you will want to turn right and just got a little further up to get up close.




  • 45 mins from downtown Phoenix
  • Not extremely well known hike and is so close to Phoenix
  • Close waterfall hike near Phoenix
  • Great views of Superstition Mountains
  • Great views of valley
  • Pretty easy without much incline
  • Lots of parking


  • Waterfall only flows well during Spring snow runoff. I went after heavy rain but still wasn’t much flow.
  • Saw a tarantula… not sure if that is a con or a pro… depends who you are I guess.


  • Go during Spring runoff.
  • Pictures are stunning if you are there after a snowfall.

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