Cibecue Falls

Gila County, Arizona

4.3/5
based on 13 reviews

Details

Distance

2.94 miles

Elevation Gain

600 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Matt Yanchek

Hike to Cibecue Falls on a canyoneering adventure to check out an incredible waterfall in Arizona.


The Hike

It’s a bumpy ride down an old dirt road to get to the trailhead to hike Cibecue Falls. 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 First and Second Campgrounds). Visitors must drive over Cibecue Creek a few feet before the trailhead, so be prepared. For you off-roaders, it is always fun driving through running bodies of water!

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 off at about 2,900 feet of elevation. This is more of a canyoneering-style hike, as the trail criss crosses the creek from bank to bank. Your feet will get wet! Because most of the trail is in the creek, expect some rock jumping.

Some areas in the creek can get pretty deep, but swimming is not allowed.

This fun three-mile hike up the creek has spectacular views of the canyon and all the little water features the creek has to offer. Since you are in a canyon, there is plenty of shade.

The closer you get to the falls, the more narrow the canyon becomes. Just before the falls is a natural cave/alcove. The waterfall is about 30-feet-high and has significant water flow in the spring, summer, and early fall.

It is a peaceful little place here in the desert. You exit the way you came in.

When’s the best time to hike?
The falls are at their biggest in the spring, summer, and early fall. However, these are also the hottest months of the year. Travel early in the morning or near dusk to avoid the hotter parts of the day. Stay hydrated and seek shade to lower your body temperature.

Permits, rules, & regulations
-Everyone who wants to hike to Cibecue Falls visitors need permits.
-These permits are also valid for the Salt and Black Rivers and allowed recreational activities on the Reservation.
-No camping, fishing, or swimming are allowed at Cibecue Falls.
-Leashed dogs are allowed. Consider bringing booties as the ground can be slippery and hot.



What to bring
-Pack more drinking water than you think you’ll need.
-Shoes with good traction - many areas along this route are slippery.
-Wear layers and a hat to protect your skin from the sun.
-Regularly apply sunscreen.
-Snacks to stay fueled!
-The 10 essentials for hiking



Extend your trip and camp near Cibecue Falls
Ready to hangout for more than a day hike to Cibecue Falls? Stay at Campground One or Two, in Whitewater, AZ. The sites are very primitive & 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.

Dispersed camping is also available in the surrounding area.


Tips
-Follow Leave No Trace principles to preserve the area. Leave it better than you found it and pack out any trash you see.

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Features

Photography
Hiking
Dog Friendly
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Cibecue Falls Reviews

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.

I hiked the falls with two dogs and I’ve never seen them have so much fun! Crossing the river and climbing over rocks was quite the adventure. The falls at the end are so worth it. Be sure to be ready to get wet crossing the river.

My husband and I took our 6 and 10 year olds here yesterday. We had a blast. We'll definitely be going back again! The canyoneering was a bit intimidating, as our kids a still relatively young and inexperienced, but they both rocked it! It was much easier than we'd originally anticipated. The day was so perfect. It was pretty warm out, but the back and forth through the creek perfectly complimented the day! I absolutely recommend this trail for anyone who loves adventures and gorgeous scenery!

Leave No Trace

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

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