A canyoneering adventure to see another one of Arizona's incredible waterfalls.

It is a bumpy ride down an old dirt road to get to the trailhead. Use extreme caution on this road as there are very narrow sections with sheer cliffs. The road follows along the Salt River giving you a nice viewpoint of the Salt River Canyon. On your way in you will pass the campgrounds (First and Second Campgrounds), just make note of this if you plan on spending the night. A few feet before the trailhead is the Cibeque Creek which you must drive over, so be prepared. For you off-roaders, it is always fun driving through running bodies of water! Permits are now required, which you can find more info on here.  

Immediately after crossing the creek there is a clearing for parking on the right. There is also a sign with a list of rules, please be considerate of them. The trailhead starts you off at about 2900 ft of elevation. This is more of a canyoneering style hike as the trail criss crosses a lot from bank to bank of the creek. Your feet will get wet. Because most of the trail is in the creek they will be a lot of rock jumping. For those dogs that love the water this hike is a heaven for them. Some areas in the creek can get pretty deep and as the sign says swimming is not allowed some areas are deep enough to do so. It's a fun two mile hike up the creek with spectacular views of the canyon and all the little water features the creek has to offer. Since you are a canyon there is plenty of shade and the water tends to keep you nice and cool. The closer you get to the falls the more narrow the canyon becomes and you start to notice the beauty of it all. Just before the falls is a natural cave/alcove. The water fall itself is about 30 feet high and has significant water flow.  

It is a peaceful little place here in the desert. You exit the way you came in. If camping afterwards the sites are very primitive. They provide shade structures but not much more. Some sites have fire rings others don't. I did not see any picnic tables and the restrooms are pretty basic. It is a nice peaceful spot right by the salt river. Always be mindful of the wildlife, during our stay we woke up to a black bear fishing in the river right across from camp.  

Pack List

  • Special Use Permit (Including 1 night of camping)
  • Hydration System
  • Shoes/Boots that do well in water
  • Bathing Suit or gear meant to get wet
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RT Distance 4 Miles
Elevation Gain 220 Feet
Activities Photography, Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Dogs allowed, but not "dog friendly"

The views are beautiful!! However, just because dogs are allowed on the trail, I would not say it is a dog friendly trail. Our 80 pound dog who has hiked with us across the country, needed to be picked up and lowered back down to get over some of the boulders. Her paws became cut and deeply gouged by the riverbed rocks. We felt horrible after bringing her there because she couldn't walk. You may lose cell service just prior to the turn off, leaving GPS useless. The brown wooden sign with yellow lettering is not easily seen from the main roadway, which left us driving past it. Just know, that when you get to the bottom of the Salt River Canyon, you need to turn into what appears to be a parking lot, but is actually the correct road. It is a poorly maintained dirt road down to the trail. A vehicle with some ground clearance may be your best bet. The trail itself is not well marked. It crosses in and out of the river. With all of that said, it is still an absolutely beautiful, remote, hike, and the waterfall at the end is breathtaking!

great escape from the heat

This hike was breathtaking, and not too difficult. My sister and I were able to make it to the falls pretty easily. There is no cell service, so just be aware of that when escaping to the serene falls. I would highly recommend this hike and view to anyone!

Easy and worth it!

Way easier of a hike than I thought it would be. The only “hard” part is crossing the creek and getting over some of the bigger boulders sometimes. It’s more fun than strenuous though. Very worth the view! But the permit online and save yourself the time and money.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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