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Arizona Waterfalls


Ellison Creek Cascades:

Trailhead GPS: 34.35013,-111.28542 (Water Wheel parking on FR-199)
Waterfall GPS: 34.35013,-111.27721

Ellison Creek Cascades is a waterfall on a tributary of East Verde River in Gila County.  The waterfall is located in the Payson Ranger District of Tonto National Forest.  The hike is a little over 2 miles round trip and moderately difficult, including crossing the river and creek.  Note that this area is prone to deadly flash floods so avoid during flood warnings.

To visit the falls, head north from Payson on AZ-87N/AZ-260W for about 2.5 miles and turn right on Houston Mesa Road/Forest Road 199.  Drive 7.5 miles and the Water Wheel Recreation Area is on the right.  There is a day-use fee to park from April through October, but it's free in the winter.

There's no official trail, but an obvious path follows East Verde River upstream.  You'll pass the water wheel and then turn right to follow the river.  There are some great swim holes along the way and you pass through a rocky gorge.  In about a half-mile, at the confluence with Ellison Creek, which flows in from river left, cross the river and follow Ellison Creek upstream.  It's about another half-mile to the waterfall.

Fossil Creek Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 34.40499,-111.61405 (Waterfall Trailhead Parking in Fossil Creek Permit Area)
Waterfall GPS: 34.41468,-111.60547

Fossil Creek Waterfall is a beautiful waterfall on its namesake in Gila and Yavapai Counties.  The waterfall is located in the Fossil Creek Permit Area in Coconino and Tonto National Forests.  The hike to the waterfall is about 2 miles round trip and moderate.  A permit is required to park from May through October (permit information).  See my Fossil Creek page for my information about this area.

To visit the falls, head north from Payson on AZ-260 W for about 24 miles and turn left to stay on AZ-260 past Strawberry.  Drive another 24 miles and turn left on FR-708.  Go about 14 miles on this rough gravel road to Fossil Creek and turn left to stay on FR-708, following the creek upstream.  Go about 2 miles to the last parking before the road closure, which is the Waterfall Trailhead.  The Forest Service recommends a high clearance vehicle for the roads.  It doesn't really get too bad until you get to the creek.

From the parking area, hike up the closed road a short ways to the Waterfall Trail on the left.  The trail leads about a mile along Fossil Creek to the waterfall.  There are a number of scenic drops and cascades along the creek before the waterfall.

Parker Creek Lower Falls:

Waterfall GPS: 33.77033,-110.97961

Lower Parker Creek Falls is a 80-foot waterfall on its namesake in Gila County, the highest waterfall on the creek.  The waterfall is located in the Sierra Ancha Experimental Forest in Tonto National Forest.  The only way to visit the waterfall is to canyoneer through Parker Creek Canyon.

Parker Creek Middle Falls:

Waterfall GPS: 33.77124,-110.97964

Middle Parker Creek Falls is a 25-foot waterfall on its namesake in Gila County.  The waterfall is located in the Sierra Ancha Experimental Forest in Tonto National Forest.  The only way to visit the waterfall is to canyoneer through Parker Creek Canyon.

Parker Creek Upper Falls:

Waterfall GPS: 33.77418,-110.97680

Upper Parker Creek Falls is a 20-foot waterfall on its namesake in Gila County.  The waterfall is located in the Sierra Ancha Experimental Forest in Tonto National Forest.  The only way to visit the waterfall is to canyoneer through Parker Creek Canyon.

Parker Creek Waterslide:

Waterfall GPS: 33.77483,-110.97706

Parker Creek Waterslide is a 15-foot waterfall on Parker Creek in Gila County.  The waterfall is located in the Sierra Ancha Experimental Forest in Tonto National Forest.  The only way to visit the waterfall is to canyoneer through Parker Creek Canyon.  This is the first waterfall that you'll come to.  It makes a fun water slide!

Stuck Rock Falls:

Waterfall GPS: 33.77445,-110.97690

Stuck Rock Falls is a 20-foot waterfall on Parker Creek in Gila County.  The waterfall is located in the Sierra Ancha Experimental Forest in Tonto National Forest.  The only way to visit the waterfall is to canyoneer through Parker Creek Canyon.  This is the first rappel in the canyon.  I don't think any of these waterfalls have names so I called it Stuck Rock Falls due to the rock stuck up at the top.