Waterfall Trail

White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Arizona

Elevation Gain595ft
Trailhead Elevation1,516ft
Elevation Min/Max1516/1929ft
Elevation Start/End1516/1516ft

Waterfall Trail

Waterfall Trail is a hiking trail in Maricopa County, Arizona. It is within White Tank Mountain Regional Park. It is a mile long and begins at 1,516 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is two miles with a total elevation gain of 595 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking.

Waterfall Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The hidden, ephemeral waterfall at the end of Waterfall Canyon Trail is both a treat and a tease to desert dwellers. Drawn in by the promise of water in an otherwise sizzling clime, hikers and dogs alike enjoy Waterfall Canyon’s frequent shady spots thanks to gargantuan, lichen-clad boulders and desert trees. The trail’s end is the real reward for your dog, though: sheer cliffs cast welcome shadows on three sides of this natural grotto.

Enough water for your dog to cool her pads is commonly found at the bottom of the 80-foot-high waterfall even weeks after the rains have left the Sonoran Desert behind. The hum and flutter of native bees and tarantula hawks add to the pleasant ambiance of this desert oasis. Once your dog is leashed and watered—pack in plenty for both of you since the waterfall flows heavily only after a hard rain—you are ready to set out on this short but scenic Sonoran Desert hike."

"You won’t find any prehistoric pueblos or cliff dwellings in Waterfall Canyon, but this cactus-covered patch of desert in the White Tank Mountains contains enough ancient rock art to make it a worthwhile destination. The trail leading into Waterfall Canyon passes through the site of a village that, according to a 1963 report by archaeologist Alfred E. Johnson, covered 75 acres when it was occupied by the Hohokam between A.D. 500 and 900. No walls or other major features of the village have survived to this day, but all along the trail you can see boulders covered with petroglyphs.

One of the more impressive petroglyph panels, located on a large rock on the north side of the trail only ten minutes into the hike, includes a sun, a stick figure, something resembling a garden rake, an image formed by two perpendicular zigzag lines and other drawings. The sun and stick figure seem straightforward, but one can only guess what the other pictures represent. The rake design appears at many petroglyph sites, and some archaeologists believe it may represent a net or fence used to divert and capture game. The zigzag lines, located immediately left of the rake, may represent snakes or, perhaps, squash vines."

Waterfall Trail Reviews

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Awesome rock art. Easy trail. There were lots of families on the trail. The scenery is beautiful. The rock art is all over the place
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If you're looking for a climb, this is not the trail to go to. Anytime outside of spring or during the monsoons, it is pretty much a flat, dead-looking trip.

Waterfall Trail Photos

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Trail Information

White Tank Mountain Regional Park
Nearby City
White Tank Mountain Regional Park
Maricopa County
Local Contacts
USGS White Tank Mountains
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018