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Massacre Falls
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mini location map2019-03-09
12 by photographer avatarKingLeonidas
photographer avatar
Massacre FallsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking5.68 Miles 1,315 AEG
Hiking5.68 Miles   2 Hrs   31 Mns   2.29 mph
1,315 ft AEG      2 Mns Break6 LBS Pack
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked Massacre Falls with my wife.

We were looking for a new, reasonably challenging trail to hike and were inspired by photos posted online of Reavis Falls and Massacre Falls running off the melt from recent snowfall. It was three weeks since the snow had come down and possibly a little late but we figured we would give Massacre Falls a shot anyhow and see if they were still running.

The drive to the trailhead (which is called crosscut trailhead or massacre grounds trailhead on google) was uneventful although there was a half mile or so of badly pitted dirt road at the end. A high-clearance vehicle (which we had) made the last bit easy enough but an ordinary car could certainly make it with a bit of caution. We saw someone in a Saturn driving out on our way in so it wasn't too bad. The dirt lot at the trailhead was quite full and we were lucky to find a spot. In addition to hikers, there were a few horse trailers at the trailhead, we would later see people riding mules along the trail.

Navigation on the trail was not difficult. The map at the trailhead shows the route to Massacre Falls as Massacre Grounds Trail (it does not mark the location of the falls on the trail map). The correct trail heads off from the left hand side (North East side) the parking lot. After that the route was straightforward to follow. When the falls get close you bear right at the relevant trail junction.

The trail condition was good, it was not too rocky but had a lot of ups and downs. The steepest portion was towards the end. At that point the falls were plainly visible and provide more than adequate motivation keep moving. There were several needles and other interesting geological features the trail weaves around earlier on. They were very picturesque with the greenery of spring contrasting the reddish-brown stone.

As the conditions in the dirt lot indicated, there were quite a few people hiking that morning. Even so that the trail wasn't too crowded except at the falls were people tended to hang out and take pictures for a while.

There were a couple spots where there were stagnant pools along the way to the falls. I suspect these pools do not stick around very long after rain but some of them could have been used to filter water in a pinch.

The falls themselves appear to have several sections, the higher-up ones were dry and only the two lower ones were running. The one to the left was dripping but the one on the right had a sizable flow and the pool at the base was full. We talked to some other hikers on the way in and they said the flow picked up considerably with the temperature so some snow melt is probably feeding it still. The flow rate appeared to be somewhat irregular even during the short period we were there.

There were wildflowers in abundance with the variety and quantity increasing as we approached the falls.

This was an excellent spring hike. I look forward to doing it again next time I know falls are running.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
There were wildflowers in abundance with the variety and quantity increasing as we approached the falls.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Massacre Falls - at Massacre Grounds Light flow Light flow
Was 3 weeks after snowfall. Falls were still running but were definitely slowing down and flow was irregular

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