Water Wheel Falls

EASY 191 reviews
#4 of 94 trails in

Water Wheel Falls is a 1.5 mile moderately 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, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
160 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

washed out

off trail

Short hike with wonderful views and the option to continue up to the Ellison Creek Cascades. If you're in the area it's worth the trip. There is no official trail. It's more a trail of use that skirts away from Water Wheel campgrounds.

5 days ago

Currently closed until further notice, be sure to check Tonto national forest website.

hiking
17 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

Great trail, very easy but you will get your feet wet so plan ahead. Water falls everywhere! Nice swimming hole at the end but the water is ice cold. Kind of heavily trafficked on weekends and unfortunately considerable amount of litter. Bring a spare plastic bag and help Mother Nature out if you can.

1 month ago

Great hike but trail is unmarked and hard to follow. Beautiful scenery. Lots of people. Limited shade. Be careful of flash floods with rain.

hiking
1 month ago

A perfect hike for the whole family!

hiking
1 month ago

The trail map reads 1.5 miles but in reality it is only about 1 mile in distance (one way). There is fencing and "no trespassing" warnings at the end of the approx 1 mile trek. It was a bit disappointing and wish this was included on the trail description or that it included this update.

Other than that, it does have beautiful scenery, lots of people swimming, and very easy.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful, easy hike to a lovely swimming hole with a waterfall.

Pro tip: go on off days and near a couple of hours before sunset so that you can have the pool all to yourself.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Hike was beautiful and worth it! Easy if you are in shape and moderate if you do not hike often.Lots of rock climbing,slippery areas,and steep cliffs. The person who recommend water shoes was right because you will be crossing rivers. My only complaint was on the way up a drunk man walking down made inappropriate remarks. At the top there was more obnoxious drunk men who had no respect for families. seemed more like a party zone.You have no cell phone service until the parking lot and no park rangers on duty . I felt very unsafe. I would recommend going in large groups.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

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hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Specifically writing this review for parents with very young children, because we read mixed reviews before we went so didn't know for sure what to expect. We went with our two year old (half walked, half carried) and one year old (strapped in a carrier). It was VERY challenging with their ages and abilities. We had to take turns passing them up and down large boulders, and keeping our 2 year old away from the steep "cliffs" overlooking the water. About halfway (where there is a very steep incline) we decided to stop because we felt it was unsafe to keep going with them due to the height and the terrain. After we made that decision, we had a wonderful time swimming in 2 different areas (a rocky slope, and a pebble beach). The water was amazing, and we still got to see amazing views of the waterfall and enjoy the cool water stream. Be aware with young kids also that there are a lot of "crevices" to keep an eye on, as well as a few cactuses that they may be tempted to explore! If we were to do this trail again with them, we would probably start lower (at the "first crossing") instead of having to climb so many large boulders. Regardless, it was a beautiful and amazing time that we were happy to experience as a family, but it did exceed the difficulty that we were expecting with young children after reading reviews prior to visiting. We will visit again when they are older and able to walk/climb themselves!

1 month ago

What a great hike. The kids did great and the water was nice and cool. The only bummer was that we went on such a busy day. The top was jam packed with inconsiderate people. I will definitely go back on an off day.

hiking
1 month ago

Great water hole, at least 9ft deep and a very easy and short trail! Just follow the map and it will lead you right there. Multiple waterfalls and such a pretty view.

1 month ago