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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.

Grand Falls, AZ

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394 61 5
Guide 61 Triplogs  5 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northeast > Hotevilla
Rated
3.9
3.9 of 5 by 20
 
25
Statistics
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.35 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,648 feet
Elevation Gain -195 feet
Accumulated Gain 250 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.6
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
11  2019-03-13 TheNaviG8R
3  2019-03-10 Andigirly11
10  2018-10-16 Stoic
9  2018-07-21 ddgrunning
4  2017-04-15 carolineleung
1  2017-03-11 DarrellLFosterPh
2  2017-02-26 hippiepunkpirate
12  2017-01-19
Crystal Point Trail
Stoic
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 7
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,825
Trips 4,257 map ( 21,432 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Navajo Nation Reservation
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Reservation Navajo Nation
Preferred   Mar, Apr, May, Sep → 2 PM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:10am - 6:28pm
Official Route
 
1 Alternative
 
Water
Fauna Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Arizona's Niagara
by joebartels

Likely In-Season!
After driving over the worst surface imaginable the canyon opens up out of nowhere. Standing on the edge of the canyon near the highest lookout hut, the trail is easy to spot.


A good spring shower over snow pack really gets the Little Colorado River running full throttle. The hike down is short lived and somewhat uneventful. There is little growth in the area. Be careful as the trail is steep and slippery in areas.

The safest option is to hike when the trail is dry. Then again, it's likely you won't want to be here during a dry spell! If spring rains are in full force prepare for a mini Niagara Falls in the middle of nowhere!

When to go... ← in the HAZ Forum!

Note
As of 2017 Leupp Chapter where the falls reside say you do not need a permit. Navajo Nation says "Grand Falls area also requires you to have a backcountry permit and is a day use area."
You decide!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

1998-03-01 joebartels
    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.

    Most recent of 18 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Grand Falls
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I've twice been to the confluence of the Little Colorado and the big Colorado, a magical place. I've been near the headwaters of the Little Colorado up around Greer in the White Mountains, a really nice little mountain stream you can jump across in most places. In the middle it is usually either a muddy sluice or a large dry wash. But in the middle is the Grand Falls, too. I'd seen it from 30 some odd thousand feet while at work. The need for a low energy day during our hiking trip to Flag provided the opportunity to visit the Falls.

    The drive out is a lot like the Little Colorado itself, either a muddy mess or a dusty haul. Today it was dusty but easy enough. Passed amongst the cinder cones, once was the genesis of the Falls.

    There was a bit of water flowing down the LC, no real surprise given the recent blessed rains. We hiked along the south/west rim and took lots of photos. There was one car parked a good ways down the canyon. We noticed that the occupant eventually headed down into the canyon and back towards the Falls. That gave us a good idea how to get down, so we slowly worked along the edge to there.

    One at the bottom we ran into the car's owner, a Native artist named Dan gathering drift wood. Dan is a wood carver producing Navajo and Hopi themed works. He was a wealth of knowledge about the Falls and the area in general. The chance meeting and conversation greatly enhanced our visit to the Falls.

    The Falls from below are even more impressive. Amazing was the flotsam that has collected, most probably from the recent high waters due to the rain. There were 30ish basketballs in the mud. They were surrounded by hundreds of plastic water bottles. Various cans and coolers were in the mud amongst the other litter. Very large tree trunks were scattered in as well, transported from the White Mountains perhaps?

    After more photographs and finding a piece of driftwood that might someday become a hiking staff with a story, we headed back to Flagstaff for cool drinks and hot nachos at Criollo and then a stop at Babbitt Brothers to ogle expensive outdoor clothing.
    Grand Falls
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    The Family and I wanted to check this place out even know we had no precipitation. We took my car so we stopped on the road and walked the river bed. It was full of neat rock formations and clear pools. It was fun to explorer the different pools and stuff.

    We will have to come back see the falls running, I bet it would be a spectacular sight!
    Grand Falls
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Did this trip before heading back into flagstaff and hiking fatmans loop. Road in was easily passable, but alot of wash boarding. Not full flow over the falls today, but enough to make the trip worth it. Was warm even before noon. Hike down was dry, but closer to falls, it was obvious it had been very wet not long ago.
    Grand Falls
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    After exchanging text messages with Norm all morning, we decided to head to Grand Falls after I got off work. A solid 3 hour drive put us there with an hour and a half to shoot photos before the official sunset around 6:30. Unfortunately we were hoping for a much larger flow, but it was still running probably 500 cfs. We took advantage of the intimate scenes available in that type of flow. I came away satisfied with my shots it got dark and we headed out. We grabbed some Arby's in Flag before driving back to Phoenix.
    Grand Falls
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    We expected to see some action for the runoff of the storms from the previous week, but it was not to be today. Still pretty cool, how often do you get to goof around on a waterfall the size of Niagra with the spigot turned off? Seeing how the sandstone erodes around the base of the falls is interesting.
    Grand Falls
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Route 70 has not improved since 1999 when the directions were originally written. It is still a terrible washboard road. A 4x4 with good tires can probably blast right down it, but we decided to take the minivan this time and struggled somewhat. Not impossible, but definitely had to take it slow in some parts.

    On the other hand 6910 is a fantastic road and it actually is "fairly well" marked.

    The falls are flowing. All those in our group were impressed. It was also busy while we were there with a constant stream of 4-5 vehicles at the parking lot.

    The temperature at the falls was around 71F and it was windy. We didn't attempt the hike to the base of the falls since we were not sure the kids could make it down the trail. Maybe next time.

    Back in Flagstaff it was 49F with a very light snow. So we ended the excursion at the Lumberyard before heading back down to the valley. :)
    Grand Falls
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I haven't posted much here lately... Been pretty heavy in the photography game and not much in the mood to write. But, I thought I'd try and get myself back in the groove of regularly logging trips.

    Jake's awesome recent photos of Grand Falls inspired me to visit. I've only ever seen them during spring runoff- never during monsoon flooding. WOW! Serious flow... Summer is the time to go!

    I drove up Saturday afternoon and met up with Brian (VVebb). He had never seen the falls and was, of course, amazed by the sight. We hiked the easy way down towards the base (yes, there's a trail down from the lookout, most people will hike all the way around to the downstream end of the falls) and hung out near the alcove. I took some photos, then we hiked out in the dark. Saturday night we met up with some friends and walked around the Big Red Pour beer festival they had going on in Flag. Fortunately Brian was responsible and limited his intake. Overall, the event was a bit of a disappointment... I could have purchased the beer of every brewery present from Walgreens. If I'm gonna spend money on 5oz samples of beer I would hope for them to be beer I've never seen/tried.

    Anyhow, after drinking a bunch of beer, we got back to Brian's friends' house around 11:30, I crashed around midnight, then got up at 3AM to drive back out to Grand Falls for sunrise. :sweat: What an experience that was... I've hiked around Grand Falls in the dark several times, but the solitude and peace found in the early morning is such a contrast to the incredible power of those falls... It's indescribable. I took photos until about 7AM (another photog showed up just past 6), then I cruised home back to Phoenix, with a nap in Camp Verde.
    Grand Falls
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Drove out for the sunset, which was not disappointing. Perhaps even more spectacular was the stream flow. The USGS personnel on-site estimated the flow to be between 6,000 to 7,000 cfs! And I thought it was impressive on Monday at 2500 cfs. On top of that, there was an impressive electrical storm to the north. What a night!
    Grand Falls
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    After rescheduling a promised Humphrey's bomber wreck hike with my friend Vlad due to weather, I decided to check out Grand Falls being that the LCR was running about 2500 cfs at Cameron. Believe it or not, this was my first trip to the falls. The first moment of seeing the falls is definitely one of sheer glory. The mood turned bittersweet after having to look at all the trash swirling below. Walked down to the river, got misted and gummed up my shoes with mud. The overcast skies were a blessing for photography, however with the wet spell almost certainly coming to an end soon, I would definitely like to come back tomorrow evening and take my chances on a sunset.
    Grand Falls
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Great day. We missed a turn and parked by the river. I got a little ahead of myself and wound up missing the trail on the way down to the falls. Had to turn back after making the decision that I didn't feel like falling. Got to the bottom and started walking up through the mud. Almost lost my shoes... After getting a few pictures, I stopped for a minute to take it all in. I must say, all of the trash was a great addition to the scenery :yuck:

    Permit $$
    None

    Navajo Nation Reservation
    Navajo Permits & Services


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Flagstaff follow 89A North to Townsend Winona Road. Turn right onto Townsend Winona Road and follow about 8.25 miles to Leupp Road. Turn Left (North) onto Leupp Road and follow about 13 miles to Indian Route 70. Last seen Spring of 1999, IR 70 was terrible washboard. Turn left onto IR 70 and follow North for just over 9 miles. You are looking for a left spur turnoff that takes you a short distance up to the edge of the canyon. There are about 3 different spurs that lead to the same campground area. If you go to far you will run into the river, simply back track as you just missed it. For a smoother ride pass Route 70 and keep going another 7.5 miles to a left turnoff for IR 6910. Note: This is Indian Reservation Land. The road signage is almost non-existent. So you may have to do a little search and find.


    2003-03-29 Montezumawell writes:
    Don't bother following the final directions here on HAZ or in Mangum's book, "Flagstaff Hikes." The road is HORRIBLY washboarded. Continue about 5.1 miles beyond the boundary of the Navajo Reservation to a left turn onto Rez Road #6910. The distance from the pavement here is only about a mile more than Navajo #70. You've only driven an extra five miles, perhaps 6-7 minutes. Trust us, this road is regularly bladed and it is GREAT! You can cruise 40-45 mph with no fear. If you truly want to abuse yourself, your passengers and your vehicle, then stick with Navajo #70. There is one tricky turn toward the Falls overlook area. Most people miss this turn, drive all the way to the river's edge and then backtrack. They usually wind up taking a very rough track instead of the "main" access route.
    $17 3L Hydration Bladder
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