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Water Wheel Falls Hike - 20 members in 45 triplogs have rated this an average 3.2 ( 1 to 5 best )
1, 2, 3  Next
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Jul 13 2019
jochal
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 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 1,868
 Triplogs 477

35 male
 Joined Sep 13 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Water Wheel Falls HikePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 13 2019
jochal
Hiking1.00 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles
100 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Jul 12 2019
jochal
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 1,868
 Triplogs 477

35 male
 Joined Sep 13 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Water Wheel Falls HikePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 12 2019
jochal
Hiking1.40 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking1.40 Miles
100 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Nov 23 2018
cabel
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 2,681
 Triplogs 393

55 male
 Joined Nov 13 2005
 Cave Creek, AZ
Water Wheel Falls HikePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 23 2018
cabel
Hiking4.00 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
100 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great hike up the creek with my daughter.

dry Ellison Creek Dry Dry
With daughter
_____________________
All who wander are not lost...just me.
Nov 23 2018
cabel
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 2,681
 Triplogs 393

55 male
 Joined Nov 13 2005
 Cave Creek, AZ
Water Wheel Falls HikePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 23 2018
cabel
Hiking4.00 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
100 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great trip with my daughter on her last day of being 20.
_____________________
All who wander are not lost...just me.
Jun 18 2017
emilystardust
avatar

 Triplogs 175

37 female
 Joined Jun 23 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Water Wheel Falls HikePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 18 2017
emilystardust
Hiking2.50 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles
100 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
_____________________
2 archives
Oct 09 2016
The_Eagle
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 Guides 5
 Routes 788
 Photos 9,011
 Triplogs 1,051

63 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Water Wheel Falls HikePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 09 2016
The_Eagle
Hiking0.87 Miles 91 AEG
Hiking0.87 Miles      37 Mns   1.49 mph
91 ft AEG      2 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Ladyeagle
Wanted to show Debby this area. We had some extra time in the morning to sample some of it.
It was nice to be there without the crowds that you get on a Summer weekend day.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Ellison Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Yep, water....
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Jun 11 2016
John9L
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 171
 Photos 4,848
 Triplogs 1,618

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Water Wheel Falls HikePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 11 2016
John9L
Hiking2.61 Miles 350 AEG
Hiking2.61 Miles
350 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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clairebear
After hitting the Horton Derrick loop we drove over to Waterwheel to find a relatively packed trailhead. We luckily found a parking spot and then hiked next to the creek. There were lots of people but we didn’t mind. We continued on and made our way to the main swimming area with the cut log. We wanted to swim but there were way too many people so we sat back and enjoyed a beverage. From there we hit the dirt road that leads to the upper trailhead. We had to walk back roughly a mile on the road and this was a pain I don’t recommend. Once back at the jeep we packed up and returned to Phx. I’d like to hit this area again during the week when it’s not crowded.
_____________________
May 29 2016
afrankie
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 Routes 40
 Photos 353
 Triplogs 128

31 male
 Joined Sep 30 2015
 Carrboro, NC
Water Wheel Falls HikePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 29 2016
afrankie
Hiking2.79 Miles 578 AEG
Hiking2.79 Miles
578 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Woke up from camping and the hot sun had us ready to hit the swimming hole early, so we skippeed up Houston Mesa Rd on the way to Ellison Cascades. On the way I saw the sign for Water Wheel, which sounded familiar, and clearly alluded to the opportunity to quickly jump in, so we spontaneously hopped off the road and headed for the creek.

Keep in mind we didn't plan on heading here so I hadn't done backgroud on Water Wheel, but figured that if we just hiked along the creek we were sure to find it. Well, there are a few social trails, and a lack of map or trailhead at the parking lot, so we headed south along a well-defined trail. Why not? After ~.75 mile of a fun hike along the creek, but no sign of anything that resembled a water wheel (whatever that was supposed to be:)), we headed back, thinking it was a fun, but underwhelming detour. ](*,)

I bumped into a few hikers at the parking lot to learn what the hubub was about only to learn it was to the north (I hope the other wandering family on the southern trail :app: figured this out also...), and we went for it. Good thing we did. Maybe .1 miles from the parking lot sure enough we see a trailhead, which wasn't visible from the parking area or outhouse at all. poor placement... :app:

We scrambled up to the fork with Ellison and crossed from there, heading further to the famed swimming hole with log-ladder that always shows up in the pics...Ellison tails off and we lost it, so we headed back, anxious to spend some real time at a swimming hole rather than just wading in the water at stream crossings. Just below the water wheel (I think) we found a jumping rock with a ~8 well beneath it and went for it. Freeezing but awesome. We jumped a few times for a body shock and hung out on the rocks until we could feel our skin again.

I'll be returning to take this trail all the way to Ellison Cascades as originally planned and to get to the photo-famous swimming hole. But no regrets on the helluvah ro :)ck jumping nook that I found :y:
_____________________
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.
Evan Hardin

Footloose adventures are documented instagram @afrankie8.
Jan 06 2016
The_N
avatar

 Routes 54
 Photos 1,508
 Triplogs 325

33 male
 Joined Mar 18 2015
 Payson, AZ
Water Wheel Falls HikePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 06 2016
The_N
Hiking0.50 Miles 50 AEG
Hiking0.50 Miles
50 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Seemed like a good day to have the place to ourselves, and it was. Houston Mesa Rd was in good shape so we snuck in and observed the raging creek and snow fall. Didn't start coming down heavily until we were back in the vehicle and leaving.
_____________________
If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Aug 09 2015
cw50must
avatar

 Guides 11
 Routes 2
 Photos 3,107
 Triplogs 242

42 male
 Joined Jun 09 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Water Wheel Falls HikePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 09 2015
cw50must
Hiking0.50 Miles 50 AEG
Hiking0.50 Miles
50 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Looking for some water and we found it. It was nice on a sunny day.
_____________________
1 archive
Jun 28 2015
SunDevil3
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 7
 Photos 416
 Triplogs 68

37 male
 Joined May 21 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Water Wheel Falls HikePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 28 2015
SunDevil3
Hiking0.50 Miles 50 AEG
Hiking0.50 Miles   1 Hour      2.00 mph
50 ft AEG      45 Mns Break30 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Came here today with my wife and two girls (4 and 1.5 years old) after what turned out to be a somewhat disappointing visit to Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery. We did not end up quite making it to the final waterfall as no one else understood that "half-mile hike" did not mean fall out of the car and into the swimming hole. I think my wife would have been okay even in her cheapo thong sandals but for the constant need to carry/hand-hold one of our kids.

We must have made it about 3/4 of the way to the terminus anyway and I was able to wade/swim across the creek at an area below a small falls and get my 4-year old to a "secret" beach on the other side. Whatever the case, we had fun and it is easily accessible and not even too terribly hot even in late June

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Ellison Creek Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
"Being unselfish is a natural high, like hiking or paint thinner."
- Homer J Simpson
Jun 18 2015
CoryTallman
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 1
 Photos 665
 Triplogs 55

25 male
 Joined Jun 19 2015
 San Tan Valley A
Water Wheel Falls HikePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 18 2015
CoryTallman
Hiking3.00 Miles 50 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   4 Hrs      0.75 mph
50 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
May 03 2015
outdoor_lover
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 8
 Photos 11,077
 Triplogs 507

56 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Payson Chasin' and Birds, AZ 
Payson Chasin' and Birds, AZ
 
Birding avatar May 03 2015
outdoor_lover
Birding1.00 Miles 200 AEG
Birding1.00 Miles
200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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desert_boonie
Encompassing all the Miscellaneous Stuff I'd been doing in May and June...

I've started Chasing a HAZer on his Bike...He's in Training and some of his Rides are pretty long, so I chase him with my Vehicle and a Cooler of Water... :D Some Photos from 2 Chases...1st, to Bartlett Lake and Back from Cave Creek...2nd, from Cave Creek to Bartlett Lake, back to Ranger Station, then back to Bartlett before back to Cave Creek... :sweat: He does all the Work, I just do the Scenic Drive and take my Camera... :lol:

A Few Bird Photos from my Yard thrown in here...Practice, Practice, Practice... :sweat: We have a Female Anna's Hummingbird that doesn't like the Birdbath. So she waits patiently every Morning for us to spray the Honeysuckle Leaves so she can Roll Around and Bathe in them...It's like her Paradise Found or something... :lol:

A quick Trip to Payson for a half Day...Was Meeting a Friend for some Rappel Practice...Before we met up, I went up to Water Wheel and Birded some... :D Was barely a Week after the Tropical Storm and the River was running very Brown...
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
Apr 06 2015
The_N
avatar

 Routes 54
 Photos 1,508
 Triplogs 325

33 male
 Joined Mar 18 2015
 Payson, AZ
Ellison Creek CascadesPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 06 2015
The_N
Hiking1.75 Miles 323 AEG
Hiking1.75 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns   0.70 mph
323 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
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Went for a morning hike/swim from the Water Wheel TH with accompanying 5yr old. We started in sweaters but it warmed up quickly (about 65 degrees) so we were able to jump into a few pools along the way. Had a quick snack at the falls after jumping off the log. Although we had the place all to ourselves, the weekend crowd left behind plenty of trash, so we filled our backpack with water bottles and beer cans on the way out.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Ellison Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow
_____________________
If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Jun 28 2014
ssk44
avatar

 Guides 19
 Routes 12
 Photos 2,242
 Triplogs 272

44 male
 Joined Mar 31 2008
 Gilbert, AZ
East Verde RiverPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 28 2014
ssk44
Hiking0.50 Miles
Hiking0.50 Miles   2 Hrs      0.25 mph
 no routes
Partners none no partners
East Verde River at Houston Mesa 2nd Crossing

Last post for this season along the East Verde. Revisiting a special spot from last summer just downstream from 2nd crossing. One of my favorite waterfalls in the state. I just love how it moves and the surrounding setting is perfect. Nice place to hang out. Mornings are a little chilly but you'll have it all to yourself.


Eric
:D
_____________________
ISAIAH 6:2-3 / MATTHEW 11:28-30
May 01 2014
azfamilyhike
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 140
 Triplogs 20

male
 Joined May 01 2014
 show low
Water Wheel Falls HikePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 01 2014
azfamilyhike
Hiking1.86 Miles
Hiking1.86 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We saw this place on instagram and decided to check it out. There was a nice paved parking lot with bathrooms at the start of the hike. At the beginning of the trail there where picnic tables not far from the creek. I did not see the water wheel on my arrival, but decided we would look for it on the way out. I saw a lot of lizards all over, but no rattle snakes (my wife was happy about that). The creek had a nice flow and the area is fairly green.

The fist thing that caught my eye was Mini Gorge with the waterfall coming down. As we made our way to the top of the gorge my wife made sure to hold my sons hand very tight. I noticed an eye hook for people who like to repel. I think repelling down would be fun and is something I have never had the pleasure of doing. ;)

We made our way up the creek to a spot where the water was flowing down the rock like a mini slide rock. My son tried to slide down it, but the rock was not slick enough. He still enjoyed it!

We finally made our way to the waterfall that runs into a nice pool for swimming. There is a wooden log with steps carved into it. The water was too cold for me to swim in, but maybe I'm just a chicken. My son had fun wading around in the shallow pools. We went to the top of the falls and saw a "no trespassing" sign and a fence at the top. They also painted a 4x6ft portion of the rocks "no trespassing". No being able to continue on, we had a picnic at the waterfall and relaxed for a while.

We packed our stuff up and some trash that others had left and headed back down. Almost back at the beginning of hike, we finally found the old water wheel and took some pictures before heading to the car. Overall a great day for the family!
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Selfie
_____________________
Aug 14 2013
ssk44
avatar

 Guides 19
 Routes 12
 Photos 2,242
 Triplogs 272

44 male
 Joined Mar 31 2008
 Gilbert, AZ
East Verde RiverPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Walk / Tour avatar Aug 14 2013
ssk44
Walk / Tour0.20 Miles
Walk / Tour0.20 Miles
 no routes
Partners none no partners
East Verde River at Houston Mesa 2nd Crossing
_____________________
ISAIAH 6:2-3 / MATTHEW 11:28-30
Jul 08 2013
Charger55
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 Guides 4
 Photos 542
 Triplogs 500

39 male
 Joined Oct 19 2010
 Mesa, AZ
Ellison Creek CascadesPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 08 2013
Charger55
Hiking1.75 Miles 323 AEG
Hiking1.75 Miles   1 Hour      1.75 mph
323 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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My coworker Ben and I escaped to Payson for the day, where the sky was overcast, the breeze was gentle and the temps were in the double digits. We parked at the Water Wheel area and proceeded cross country, following some power lines to the cascades.

As we arrived at the waterfall, there was a large group getting ready to leave. Pretty soon it was just us and two teenaged boys who were doing backflips off the log. Ben joined in on the fun while I was blowing up a $3 Wal-Mart inner tube. The boys' dad was one of my heroes of the day. While the boys were playing, he was walking around picking up trash. My other hero was Ben, who stood guard with the inner tube while I did some awkward flops off the log. I get nervous when the water is so deep that I can't see the bottom. Having my own personal lifeguard was nice moral support.

On the way back we stuck to the water. Ellison Creek was warm and calm. The East Verde was cold and flowing quickly. We checked out the gorge before heading off to Tonto Natural Bridge. That looks like a fun spot to spend time at on a return trip.
_____________________
"I've driven across deserts, driven by the irony, that only being shackled to the road could ever I be free"
- Frank Turner "The Road"
Jun 01 2013
desert_boonie
avatar

 Guides 2
 Photos 1,691
 Triplogs 212

38 male
 Joined Aug 05 2004
 Peoria, AZ
Ellison Creek CascadesPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 01 2013
desert_boonie
Hiking2.50 Miles 323 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles   3 Hrs      0.83 mph
323 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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outdoor_lover
Got to meet up with Pam finally and she took me on up to this area so we could have a nice relaxing day that involved some water. On the way out of town she mentioned that several people have told her that a bald eagle sits in a tree near the Verde River off the BeeLine and she wanted to keep an eye out for it. Hoping to see it but thinking with my luck we wouldn't we were both amazed to see two eagles sitting up in the tree. I guess that means this is going to be a good day.
We got to the start of the hike in the early morning and were the first ones in the parking lot, I was amazed to see a good size fall minutes into the hike and couldn't wait to get in the water. We got down and into the creek and made our way over to the cascade. Why is this water so cold? I had some fun on the giant log while Pam was hoping I would fall in the water taking video. What a great spot, too bad people do not know how to take their trash out with them and leave a clutter of it everywhere.
With this hike being short we made our way on over to the water wheel and did some birding while taking a break in that area. We headed on back and I was thinking with the sun out it was time to get into the water, but I just got into it up to my knees and was freezing so knew I wasn't getting all the way in here. Other people started to show up so we decided we had seen enough and decided to head on over to a part of Christopher Creek and see what that was like. I left the picture taking duty to Pam since she is the expert, hope she gets to post some of them, I know they will be amazing. I also couldn't get over that huge waterfall, too bad the water was too cold to swim in so we could swim near it in the narrow channel there.
_____________________
"Never Satisfied"
Jun 01 2013
outdoor_lover
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 8
 Photos 11,077
 Triplogs 507

56 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Ellison Creek CascadesPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 01 2013
outdoor_lover
Hiking2.50 Miles 325 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles
325 ft AEG8 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked linked
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desert_boonie
So Ken and I have been messaging back and forth about Canyoneering and Water Hikes...Turns out he's a big Water Hike/Swimming Fan, so the plans were on!!! :D

He's never been to Ellison and since I had unfinished Photography business there, it was a perfect choice!

We didn't leave quite at the Crack of Dawn, (ok, Ken might have :sweat: ) but I know I wanted to beat the Crowds that would be up there later, so we left pretty early...I haven't known Ken 30 minutes yet and I have the guts to ask him if it's ok if I pull over on the Highway, if the Eagles are there...He said he was fine with that and he instantly passed the Patience with Pam and her Camera test! :sl: The 3 minute stop, and 10 shots of Eagles, with traffic whizzing by, was soooo worth it!!! :y:

A little bit later, on the Beeline, we pass a HAZ Ride complete with Decal...Purdy Yellow Truck, but didn't get a look at the driver??? Anyone???

Get to the Ellison TH and get started with the Hike, Wading and Photos...I really love this area...Great Falls and Water!!! Last time I was here, late last Summer, my Camera (now my backup Camera), went into the drink!!! Deciding not to tempt fate, I brought that Camera with, on the Hike, instead of the new one... :scared: But, from the halfway point on, the views were new, from behind the Lens, as I couldn't take any more pictures last time...There was more Water than the last time and it was waaaayyyy colder!!! No Swimming here today, even as much as we both wanted to.... :)

We did the same Loop as I did last Summer...Going from the TH to the Cascades, then following Ellison back to the East Verde. Then down the East Verde to the Water Wheel...At the Water Wheel, we took a break and Ken started seeing Birds everywhere, including Swallows going into holes in a dead limb...Now I'm cursing about not having my better Camera, but took a few shots anyway...

We head back and just follow the East Verde around to just East of the TH and climb up to the Trail and back to the Escape...I think we may have seen a total of 3 people on the Hike... :y:

I decide to "test" Ken again, and ask if we can stop at the Water Wheel on the way out and I'm going to try to get some shots with the good Camera...He agrees and wins more Brownie Points... :lol: I think I almost had to wake him up when I was ready to get going again... :sl:

We got done with this Hike so early, which I suspected that we might, so headed on out to my backup plan... :D

I will indeed return to this area, as there is still unfinished business, but need to wait for the Water to warm up just a tad.... :sweat:

Really bad video from old Camera of Ken doing a balancing demo on the Log...Don't put it on Full Screen or the quality will be way worse. Ken stops about halfway, and bounces, you can't see it in the video, but that Log is actually bowing... :o That's when I start laughing...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRMjKuW-RJw
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max East Verde River - Source Medium flow Medium flow
At Ellison Creek confluence....

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Ellison Creek Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
average hiking speed 1.25 mph
1, 2, 3  Next

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.

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