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!
although I prefer a hike after a heavy rain, I should forewarn of possible flash flooding
Climbing on or near the falls is extremely dangerous, several deaths have resulted in the past
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.