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Hike Massacre Grounds Trail to Massacre Falls

Apache Junction, Arizona

based on 2 reviews



5.5 miles

Elevation Gain

1125 ft


Added by Crystal Sibson

Hike to one of the Superstition Wilderness' most popular seasonal waterfalls

There are many legends of a lost gold and buried treasures within the Superstition Mountains of Arizona.  The most famous is the story of the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine.  In the 1840's, the Peralta family from Northern Mexico mined rich gold ore from the area.  In 1848 during one of the families expeditions to bring the gold back to Mexico, the miners and their crew were allegedly ambushed, cornered, then massacred by the Apache.  Only a couple members of the Peralta family managed to escape the attack and made it back to Mexico.  After the attack, the Apache reportedly stole the gold and hid the entrance to the mine.  This is how Massacre Grounds got its name.

Massacre Grounds trail is a 5.5 mile out-and-back trail within the Superstition Wilderness that features a waterfall and mountain views.  The trail starts from the East end of the parking lot next to the foundation of an old building.  There are several trails that leave from this parking lot so be sure you are following the correct trail.  After 0.8 miles you will reach the old trail head parking lot that is no longer accessible by vehicle.  From the old parking lot look for an opening in the fence to continue onto the Massacre Grounds Trail.  This fence signifies the border of the Superstition Wilderness.  The trail begins to gain in elevation until right before the falls.  

Massacre Falls is a seasonal waterfall that only flows during the winter months or after a good storm.  Hiking this trail is most popular in the winter and early spring when the wildflowers bloom. This is a family friendly and dog friendly trail.  Just remember to keep your dog on a leash and practice leave no trace principals.

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Hike Massacre Grounds Trail to Massacre Falls Reviews

This is one of my go to hikes during the cooler months. Unfortunately a wildfire recently burned through some of the surrounding landscape.

But only worth doing after a good solid rain. The trail is relatively flat, but the payoff is the waterfall at the end. Can get super busy, so I would plan on coming early in the day to make sure you get a spot at the trailhead.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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