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Ellison Creek Cascades is a 1.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Payson, Arizona that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 1.5 mi Elevation gain 170 ft Route type Out & Back

Dog friendly

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Forest

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Rocky

Scramble

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Access to the walk can be made from the Second Crossing parking area in a lot just down the road from the entrance to the old dirt road where you can park, eat, and enjoy the creek view! (with bathrooms as well).

Beautiful water fall with little pools scattered all around. Fun day trip for sure, especially if you're looking to find water in AZ.

The Ellison Creek trail is located on Houston Mesa Road in Payson, AZ, just past Waterwheel Falls. Pass Waterwheel and right after mile marker 8, there is a old dirt road with a gate that says 'no parking' on the right hand side of the road. Park about 50 yards up off to the side of the road. Walk along the old dirt road, you will go past another gate and continue walking down a hill. Once you hit the bottom of the hill, there will be a line of boulders marking the entrance to the Ellison Creek Trail. The trail is probably another .3 miles in after walking the already .5 miles on the old dirt road.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (113)
Photos (159)
Recordings (65)
Completed (225)
Vanessa Mendoza
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Trail is open as of last week. I was just there yesterday, Monday 8/10.

Whitney Mcconchie
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Hiking

Does anyone know if this trail is reopen?

Courtney Lacombe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2020
Hiking

Closed still as of 7/16/20

Alyson Redmond
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 15, 2020
Hiking

Does anyone know if this is open again?

Emily Rogers
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Hiking

As of right now it’s closed due to fire.

Stephanie Romero
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HikingNo shade

Nice little hike! Very easy to do! Follow the directions on the app and you won’t have any problems finding the creek! It’s all downhill, worst part is coming back up and getting slightly winded but if you cooled off in the creek beforehand it’s not too bad. Seriously tho, the directions to find the trail are super easy, when you first take the trail at the second fence there’s another path that diverts to the right and down, don’t take that path, you’ll have to backtrack if you do.

britney r.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 28, 2020
Hiking

Great trail, the water was very cold and it was a bit more packed than we expected. But the hike was nice & the weather was beautiful.

Heather Schaa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 22, 2020
Hiking

This was a very easy trail. A little difficult to find but followed the directions and it went very well. It was busy when we went but not overly crowded and uncomfortable for a Saturday. We took our dogs and it was very dog friendly area. Water was still cold but loved the views and would do it again!

Ashley Burton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 12, 2020
Hiking

Some of the photos posted here are of water wheel and not Ellison Creek- Ellison Creek we had pretty much to ourselves for most of the time. Water was freezing but it was beautiful! Not marked well- so follow all trails directions.

Dre Cox
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 7, 2020
Hiking

Simple trail with rocky waterslide at the end. Water was cold which was nice on a warm day! It was busy but wouldn’t expect anything less on a Sunday. Will do it again!

View Dre's Recording
Zay Zay
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Hiking

Went there about 3 week ago around 9 am and once we got there there weren’t many people. But when we started exploring downstream a lot of people started going to the fall, oh boy! It got packed. The hike wasn’t bad at all. The water was extremely cold. I only got in once and that was it for me. It’s pretty with less people.

View Zay's Recording
Emily Corbin
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Hiking

Incredible spot! Whatever you do...don’t follow Google Maps! Take 87 all the way to Houston Mesa Rd. Brief but hilly hike, absolutely worth it. Went on a Saturday evening and didn’t see another soul once I got onto the trail.

View Emily's Recording
Jo Marie Solema
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Hiking

We arrived around 1130 and already plenty of people but far enough for social distancing. Easy hike and kid friendly. Bring food and drinks. You’ll end up staying for a while.

View Jo Marie's Recording
Emily Crampton
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Hiking

I’ll never go to Water wheel falls again after finding this gem! The parking lot for Water Wheel was PACKED and the trailhead for this is only a mile down the road with nobody there. Easy walk down to the water, with a lot of places to lay down and swim in the swimming holes. I was somehow completely alone there on a Sunday with the exception of one other family walking through. Spent a few hours here with my toes in the water and cooling off!

Hannah Layton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 30, 2020
Hiking

The trail was easy to find using the direction here on AllTrails. The decent was easy, coming up is steep but short. There are many swimming holes to explore. It was over crowded even early in the day, but people were courteous of those trying to get photos. Climb to the top of the fall, you won’t be disappointed. We took a side trail on the way back up and found another series of falls with cliff jumping areas. Explored this are of Payson all day. Sunburnt but happy.

Amber Wiser
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 25, 2020
Hiking

The trail is the forest road. When you see the orange and white construction barrier, take the small path to the waterfall. There were a lot of people by the waterfall. We got a Tonto pass to make sure we were ok.

Kesha Cummings
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Hiking

Great trail! Arrived around 7am on Friday morning. Parked along road near trailhead. Hike was very light, did it in hiking sandals. Had the spot to ourselves for the first hour or so. Beautiful views, water was nice and cold. Pack some snacks because you’re going to want to stay a while.

Zoe Sugg
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FeeRockyScramble

So beautiful! Went up at 8am on a Friday, so we hardly saw anyone else there! A gorgeous hike, fairly short so it was pretty easy for me, though I have good shoes. We parking at the lot closest to the trail, just after Second Crossing I think? Upon getting to the car found a forest ranger note saying we needed to pay $10 to the little box by the restroom and failure to pay was a crime, not sure where we were supposed to get a pass in that case, but luckily I had $10 cash so it was okay.

Ray Hill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 22, 2020
Hiking

Nice little trail...kids and dog loved the creek. Spent a couple hours catching crayfish and swimming in the cool water. Not many people at all. Went on a Thursday. Will go back soon.

Jen Pruett
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Hiking

First time hiking in Payson, nice trail not too hard. A little bit confusing on where to park but overall a good time!

Paula Osterhoudt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 21, 2020
Hiking

What a beautiful hike that was hidden away. We are glad we had the instructions from All Trails to find it. We went during the week in the morning & it wasn’t crowded at all. The wildflowers were so pretty along the trail. The watering hole was was so peaceful. Everything was just so lovely...the vibrant blue sky, the crisp running water, the graceful butterflies. It was a great hike & we will be back. Thanks.

Donna Wilson
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Hiking

Great place to cool off; best to go early because it got crowded as noon approached.

Melinda Liagoure
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 16, 2020
Hiking

This was the best retreat we could have hoped for! Not crowded, easy hike down to the water, and plenty of nature's playground for the kids to discover tadpoles, butterflies, and water play.

Stacy Luckey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 15, 2020
Hiking

Just like everyone said, easy to get to, short walk/ hike to the creek and perfect for a novice hiker just looking to escape the valley heat. Loved it!!

Jennifer D.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 10, 2020
Hiking

Great trail for the family! Dirt road as well as rocky trail that leads to creeks and a waterfall. My kiddos (ages 4,8,12,13,15 & 18) loved this hike! Bring a swimsuit :)

Tia Baize
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No shade

This place was PACKED. There were hundred of people there. Easy Hike. took the kiddos, they almost walked the whole way.

Logan Whitfill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 4, 2020
Hiking

Amazing!!! Easy hike down, do not take the side trail down, follow the path that looks like a road. Water was cold but so nice. Went down at 7am on a Monday and saw zero people. Definitely recommend!!

View Logan's Recording
Nicole Ruiz
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HikingNo shade

Started 10am and took the dirt road to the turnoff that leads to the waterfall. The waterfall BUT I only gave 3 stars for the amount of people camping and swimming while we’re supposed to be social distancing. There were 100 people at the waterfall we left immediately and were disappointed. We could not enjoy the trail or scenery. Would hike next year when this pandemic is over. May 2, 2020

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