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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Waterfall Trail - White Tanks, AZ

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395 161 0
Guide 161 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NW
Rated
2.7
2.7 of 5 by 55
 
13
Statistics
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,506 feet
Elevation Gain 251 feet
Accumulated Gain 251 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 3.26
Interest Seasonal Waterfall
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
Inaugural Calculation next Tap
15  2018-03-25
Willow Ford Loop
chumley
1  2016-01-05 MikeS
46  2015-09-12
Black Rock Long Loop Connected to Waterfall
WanderingDad
9  2015-09-02 WanderingDad
20  2015-03-02
Black Rock Long Loop
Stoic
5  2014-09-08 PatrickL
5  2013-01-27 cindyl
12  2012-08-22 Codersgirl
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Expand Map
Preferred   Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov → 10 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  7:01am - 5:28pm
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Route Scout App
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Official Route
 
2 Linked
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Barry Goldwater Peak via Mesquite Canyon
Barry Goldwater Peak via Mesquite Canyon
0.3 mi away
13.0 mi
2,850 ft
Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
0.3 mi away
10.6 mi
1,921 ft
Mesquite Willow Loop - White Tanks
Mesquite Willow Loop - White Tanks
0.3 mi away
8.4 mi
1,550 ft
Waddell Trail
0.3 mi away
1.0 mi
40 ft
Ford Canyon Trail - White Tanks
Ford Canyon Trail - White Tanks
0.5 mi away
7.4 mi
1,410 ft
Mesquite Trail - White Tanks
Mesquite Trail - White Tanks
0.5 mi away
4.0 mi
1,394 ft
Wild Life Trail - White Tanks
Wild Life Trail - White Tanks
0.5 mi away
0.4 mi
15 ft
Black Rock Long Loop
Black Rock Long Loop
0.5 mi away
1.3 mi
120 ft
Black Rock Short Loop
Black Rock Short Loop
0.5 mi away
0.5 mi
68 ft
Mule Deer Trail - White Tanks
Mule Deer Trail - White Tanks
0.6 mi away
3.3 mi
251 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Desert Gusher
by joebartels

Likely In-Season!
Here's a small jewel very close to the valley. The trail starts out ridiculously wide and turns into nothing. Folks of all ages will be seen heading out on this trail. Seemed odd as I saw two families pushing strollers. Mid way into the trail where it narrows I passed several strollers stashed alongside the trail. There's nothing wrong with that I just got a good chuckle.


It's best to tackle this easy to moderate trail after a good rain. If it poured the night before head on out. A rare early morning shower would be best. The trail skirts the creek then turns into an easy scramble near the waterfall. Choose your steps wisely or you'll get a little wet. Personally I'd put on the Tevas and slosh right through it. Be careful as the wet rocks are slippery. After a mild to average rain some small pools get about knee deep. It's not necessary to get wet, but you may not get as close to the falls. The falls curve around a bend to the right. The falls are multi tiered. Sometimes it's only possible to see the top section if you risk a shallow wade.
- 2/98 joe

Three years later I return to the scene. With nearly an inch of rain in the last ten hours I was pumped. It was raining and under fifty degrees. Surprisingly the trailhead parking area was not packed. I'm not usually one to deliberately go out into the rain. Knowing the desert brightens up in the rain gave me a reason to head on out. Although I don't photograph it well, it's quite a site. The trail proved to be way easier than I had previously remembered. It's easy to see why this trail gets hikers of all ages in large quantities. I must have been blind on my first journey not seeing the petroglyphs. Several rocks are covered in plain site. Keep in mind there's a lot of unauthentic markings. I was beyond stunned to find out the creek was bone dry. I couldn't figure it out. It had been raining since midnight at home near Chandler/Ahwatukee. The trail seemed thoroughly soaked too. I still can't figure it out. The ravine above that feeds the falls is a couple miles long according to the 3D maps. I can't imagine how the falls were so powerful on my first visit. This rain must have been more of a soaker.

Nevertheless, it was a good trip. Like the lower Four Peaks and Superstition Wilderness areas, rain really brings the desert to life. In addition I checked out the Mesquite Trail. In the past year I've gained more of an interest in mapping. The White Tanks viewed from valley mountain peaks appears to be a single north/south ridge. In reality it's several parallel east/west ridges including countless tiny peaks. Not perfect ridges and canyons but still an interesting twist on my previous thoughts.

Signs all over remind you to stay on the trail. There used to be a connecting trail to the Mesquite Trail. It's history. I chatted with six or seven small groups. Everybody had a previous waterfall story. I always get a kick out of these kind of stories!

Note
although I prefer a hike after a heavy rain, I should forewarn of possible flash flooding

Warning
Climbing on or near the falls is extremely dangerous, several deaths have resulted in the past

joebartels
  • description related image description related image description related image
    guide related
  • White Tanks Hunting
    area related
    White Tanks Hunting
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$
Maricopa Regional Parks - Fees more info


$6 per vehicle or $85 annual

$2 walk, bike or horse ride into park


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
12/09/07 Zuiu simplifies: Take the I-10 west out of Phoenix to the 101 Loop Freeway. Go north on the 101 to Olive Blvd. Take a left and head west 13.5 miles to the White Tanks park entrance. Continue into the park on White Tank Mountain Road. Passing the information center at about 1.2 miles. Continue on to Waterfall Road.
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