Hike to Pacheta Falls

Rate this Adventure Arizona Pacheta Falls Approach #1

Added by

Adventure into the White Mountains of Arizona and listen to the lullabies of Pacheta Falls!

Pacheta Falls is spectacular and worth the several hour drive over washboard roads and you explore the high country of Arizona.  You will be on the White Mountain Apache Reservation, so please take note:

  • You need to purchase a Special Use Permit
  • No swimming allowed
  • 4x4 with additional clearance recommended
  • This is very rugged country. Finding the falls can be difficult and the terrain hazardous. 
  • Strong route finding skills required
  • To learn more about the history, check out this link

Take AZ-260 and turn right on AZ-273 S (headed towards Sunrise Ski Resort). Stop at the Sunrise Gas Station to purchase your special use permit. Continue on AZ-273 and turn right onto Forest Road 409 (Reservation Lake). While passing Reservation Lake, you will now continue on what becomes Y40 and you have a choice between two approaches. 

Approach #1:

You will start where Pacheta Creek crosses the County Road #8 upstream (33.68065, -109.52927).  Look for a faint trail that travels along the right side of the creek. You will continue along this path for 1.25 miles and will require a few water crossings, so be prepared to get your feet wet. While the path at times appears non-existent, keep following the creek and you will arrive at the falls. 

Approach #2:

You can access the falls directly which will require a 4x4 vehicle with additional clearance. Do not attempt to access this approach during any type of storm. These are old logging roads, so coordinates are provided to help guide you with this approach. Instead of continuing on Y40 as in Approach #1, you will make a left onto an unmarked road at 33.683388, -109.524475 and an immediate right. Take another right at 33.679047, -109.524460 and follow this road until it ends. At the end of the road, you will see a small path that leads you South. Continue down this path for about .25 miles and the roar of the falls will slowly begin to emerge!

Pacheta Falls: 33.66765, -109.52660

The falls are simply picturesque! The 131 foot waterfall is surrounded by tall Douglas Fir and shearing cliffs that lead towards the Black River.  

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Offline Maps & GPS Unit
  • 4x4 with additional clearance
  • Special Use Permit
  • Water, Food & Snacks
  • Bear Spray
  • Camera
  • Personal GPS Locator 
  • Rain Gear
Read More

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Dan Deublein

Dan is an explorer for The Outbound and editor of The Proper Function, an outdoor online editorial. He is passionate about exploration and can’t stay put for more than a week.

Activities:

Chillin, Photography, Hiking

Skill Level:

Advanced

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

2.5 Miles

Elev. Gain:

0 Feet

Features:

Dog Friendly
Forest
River
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

More Adventures Nearby

Camp at Lake Havasu State Park

Arizona / Lake Havasu State Park

Lake Havasu is a premier lake dividing California and Arizona along with the Colorado River.

Nick Garcia
20 Saves

Photograph a Grand Canyon Sunset at the Desert View Watchtower

Arizona / Desert View Watchtower

25 miles east of the Grand Canyon Visitor's Center is Desert View, here you will find the Desert View Watchtower and plenty of space to set up a tripod to photograph the sunset.

Edward Webb
15 Saves

Hike to Fay Canyon Arch

Arizona / Fay Canyon Trail

...The hike through Fay Canyon goes 1.25 miles to Box Canyon and is rated easy to moderate. To see Fay Canyon Arch though is a much shorter hike. From Boynton Pass Rd, park at Fay Canyon parking lot.

Derek Mathewson
31 Saves