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Massacre Falls, AZ
details
drive
no permit
forecast
route
stats
2,031
photos
291
triplogs
4
topics
nearby
Notice: The road to the Massacre Trailhead has been eliminated. It has been plowed up, blocked and returned to the desert. Page stats have been updated to start from the Crosscut Trailhead. View the Official Route for details.


Hike: (from the old Massacre Trailhead) Walk through the fence from the parking area. The trail is wide and well defined. In season, wildflowers blanket the lower sections of this trail. Immediately to the left is small knoll with some small caves. The trail heads towards a mini needle then passes it on the east. The trail works up to a low saddle crossing a usually dry creek three times.

Next comes the subtle ascent to the falls. When the creek is running you can hear the falls in the distant. Otherwise be on the look out for the dark vertical stripe to the southeast. The stripe is one of the falls. From the low-lying saddle mentioned above to the falls is nothing difficult, however it can be a route-finding challenge. My best advice is to study the map. Two or three cairned routes get you to the falls and one takes you far away to West Boulder Canyon. Generally the most traveled route gets you to the falls as it's the most popular destination in this area.

My route of choice is the red line on the map. When you're hiking in you swear you are going wide to the east. Which it does "slightly" but not by much. The old dashed line trail on the map is cairned too. Both routes work and you probably won't know the difference on your first outing.

The trail goes through a tunnel of lush before delivering you to the east side of the Massacre Wall. Two falls pour over this wall. First encountered is the large waterfall on the east end. A short but steep canyon directly above the wall feeds this waterfall. It generally runs right after heavy rains. It pours off in a wide swath. This swath being the vertical stripe visible from distances far north into the wilderness. There is a nice spout on it's left which funnels water out from the wall. To the west is another waterfall. Although on the same wall it's fed by a different drainage. This drainage goes all the way up to the Superstition Ridgeline and is much wider. Although longer and wider it's not a solid rock surface. This waterfall flows upwards of a week after heavy rainfall by means of the sponge effect.

Trail data provided is for an out-n-back hike to the waterfalls. On the return, consider the short excursion up a small ramp style ridge, which I've dubbed the "Massacre Ramp". It's easy to spot heading back and away from the falls. There's nice 360-degree views from the top. There's also a sheer drop off. In fact, you're standing on an overhang if you're looking down. It kind of makes you take a step back when you look down, then notice there's no wall below.

Note #1: The actual "Massacre Grounds" aren't along this trail. Request for more information will not receive response.

Note #2: Hike summary was revised on 04/02/04
Description 291 Triplogs  4 Topics
RatedFavorite  
Wish List 34
 Region
 
0
0
 Superstitions NW
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,100 feet
Elevation Gain 1,120 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,187 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 11.44
Interest Seasonal Waterfall
Author joebartels
Descriptions 208
Routes 758
Photos 9,495
Trips 3,525 map ( 18,273 miles )
Age 47
Location Phoenix, AZ
Photos
Viewed All Mine Following
5  2017-10-15 Oregon_Hiker
16  2017-08-13 adilling
1  2017-07-29 gummo
2  2017-07-27 gummo
1  2017-04-19 AZLumberjack
89  2017-03-25
Massacre Grounds Upper First Water Loop
tibber
9  2017-03-25
Massacre Grounds Upper First Water Loop
writelots
25  2017-03-23 trekkinfirecapt
8  2017-03-10 hikingaz2
6  2017-03-05 nahimana222
22  2017-02-20 AZLumberjack
35  2017-02-19 adilling
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 14
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Map - Beartooth Superstition Wilderness
Forest Tonto
Wilderness Superstition
Backpack   Yes & Possibly Connect
Preferred   Feb, Mar, Nov, Dec → 9 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:34am - 5:48pm
Route Scout
import queue
Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Jacob's Trail #58
same trailhead
6.5 mi
583 ft
Reverse Flatiron
0.0 mi away
8.5 mi
3,376 ft
Praying Hands Loop
0.0 mi away
4.8 mi
1,137 ft
Praying Hands - Crosscut TH
0.0 mi away
4.2 mi
900 ft
Tomahawk Mine Trail
0.6 mi away
2.0 mi
188 ft
Peak 2891 Saddle
0.7 mi away
3.7 mi
438 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna
Bighorn Sheep
Black-tailed Rattlesnake
Canyon Towhee
Canyon Wren
Centipede
Coachwhip
Curve-billed Thrasher
Desert Tortoise
Gila Monster
Gopher Snake
Greater earless lizard
Harris Hawk
Horned Lizard
Long-nosed snake
Millipede
Mule Deer
Phainopepla
Red Spotted Toad
Red-tailed Hawk
Tarantula
Tiger Rattlesnake
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Western Patch-nosed snake
White-Crowned Sparrow
White-lined Sphinx Caterpillar
Flora
African Daisy
Arizona Lupine
Blackfoot Daisy
Blue Dicks
Brittlebush
Century Plant
Chain Fruit Cholla
Coulter's Lupine
Desert Globemallow
Desert Mariposa
Desert Phlox
Desert Rose Mallow
Dudleya
Fairy Duster
Fiddleneck
Firecracker Penstemon
Flat Top Buckwheat
Fleabane
Gooding's Verbena
Indian Paintbrush
Ironwood
Jojoba
Lesser yellowthroat Gilia
Mexican Gold Poppy
Miners Lettuce
Mohave Aster
Moth Combseed
New Mexico Thistle
Owl Clover
Prickly Pear
Saguaro
Strawberry Hedgehog
Sugar Sumac
Teddy Bear Cholla
Trailing Four O'Clock
White Nightshade
Wild Cucumber
Geology
Natural Arch
Meteorology
Moon
Rainbow
Sunrise
Sunset
Named place
Four Peaks
Four Peaks Wilderness
Little Four Peaks
Massacre Falls - at Massacre Grounds
Massacre Grounds - Superstitions West
Superstition Wilderness - West
Weavers Needle
Culture
Airplane Wreckage
Cactuscat Pose
HAZ - Selfie
johnr1
Memorial
Flowers -n- Waterfalls
by joebartels

Notice: The road to the Massacre Trailhead has been eliminated. It has been plowed up, blocked and returned to the desert. Page stats have been updated to start from the Crosscut Trailhead. View the Official Route for details.


Hike: (from the old Massacre Trailhead) Walk through the fence from the parking area. The trail is wide and well defined. In season, wildflowers blanket the lower sections of this trail. Immediately to the left is small knoll with some small caves. The trail heads towards a mini needle then passes it on the east. The trail works up to a low saddle crossing a usually dry creek three times.

Next comes the subtle ascent to the falls. When the creek is running you can hear the falls in the distant. Otherwise be on the look out for the dark vertical stripe to the southeast. The stripe is one of the falls. From the low-lying saddle mentioned above to the falls is nothing difficult, however it can be a route-finding challenge. My best advice is to study the map. Two or three cairned routes get you to the falls and one takes you far away to West Boulder Canyon. Generally the most traveled route gets you to the falls as it's the most popular destination in this area.

My route of choice is the red line on the map. When you're hiking in you swear you are going wide to the east. Which it does "slightly" but not by much. The old dashed line trail on the map is cairned too. Both routes work and you probably won't know the difference on your first outing.

The trail goes through a tunnel of lush before delivering you to the east side of the Massacre Wall. Two falls pour over this wall. First encountered is the large waterfall on the east end. A short but steep canyon directly above the wall feeds this waterfall. It generally runs right after heavy rains. It pours off in a wide swath. This swath being the vertical stripe visible from distances far north into the wilderness. There is a nice spout on it's left which funnels water out from the wall. To the west is another waterfall. Although on the same wall it's fed by a different drainage. This drainage goes all the way up to the Superstition Ridgeline and is much wider. Although longer and wider it's not a solid rock surface. This waterfall flows upwards of a week after heavy rainfall by means of the sponge effect.

Trail data provided is for an out-n-back hike to the waterfalls. On the return, consider the short excursion up a small ramp style ridge, which I've dubbed the "Massacre Ramp". It's easy to spot heading back and away from the falls. There's nice 360-degree views from the top. There's also a sheer drop off. In fact, you're standing on an overhang if you're looking down. It kind of makes you take a step back when you look down, then notice there's no wall below.

Note #1: The actual "Massacre Grounds" aren't along this trail. Request for more information will not receive response.

Note #2: Hike summary was revised on 04/02/04
© 2001 - 2017 hikearizona.com

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  • Map
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 $$
None


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
High Clearance possible when dry

To Crosscut Trailhead
From Mesa follow Highway 60 East to Idaho Road. Turn North onto Idaho Road which is SR88 and follow North 2.2 miles. SR88 bends right just past Scenic St. and Idaho continues North. Be sure to go right and stay on SR88. Follow SR88 5.2 miles to the signed turnoff for First Water Trailhead, this is FR-78. Turn right on to FR-78 and follow 0.6 miles to the large dirt parking lot which is the Crosscut Trailhead.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 41.1 mi - about 52 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 134 mi - about 2 hours 9 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 185 mi - about 2 hours 56 mins
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