Water Wheel Falls

EASY 168 reviews
#4 of 93 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 minutes ago

3 hours ago

Beautiful scenery, lots of water, but pretty easy to lose the trail.

3 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

Best place I've visited in Arizona so far. Great way to beat the heat. Brought my two dogs and they loved it. The first quarter mile is very easy, however the rest of it is pretty rocky and involves lots of climbing over rocks and walking through water, so I'd say it's more moderate than easy. Well worth it though.

I recommend water shoes (like Keens). My partner and I both had keens and still slipped twice on the rocks.

The views are beautiful, and the water was ice cold, even in a 105 degree day. The water closer to the top was a tad warmer.

I'm not sure where the water wheel is though. Couldn't ever find it.

hiking
6 days ago

Not a place with lots of shades along the trail but can easily get some off trail to rest. Views along creek is pretty and hike on the big rocks are fun. Be aware of the wet slippy rocks when crossing creek.

6 days ago

Great place to go in AZ when it get hot out!

hiking
6 days ago

Wonderfully rewarding trail. Not easy for unprepared hikers. Rocks can be slick and steep. For those more adventurous continuing up the creek to the left towards second crossing offers up amazing views as well! Looking for possible overnight spots the next time we go!!

hiking
6 days ago

What a great way to spend an afternoon! The trail was more moderate than easy but... it was well worth the trip! Cool water, lovely spots to sit and enjoy and beautiful nature!

walking
7 days ago

Kid friendly if your kid is a bad ass like mine. Level to start. The boulders and rocky. Then BAM water beauty everywhere. :)

hiking
8 days ago

10 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

10 days ago

Short hike with a great view and a water fall. Not for strollers or kids under 5. There are sections on the trail where you have to Shimy up or down Little Rock faces.

11 days ago

note sure why this is rated as easy,
there is some larger rocks that may be difficult for some people, had to help my lab and border collie up some of the rocks

11 days ago

Very fun! Great to bring kids and spend the day in the water!

hiking
13 days ago

Had a blast with my girls hiking this beautiful canyon, swimming and playing around the waterfalls. A must go in AZ!

14 days ago

easy hike with the kids .The water is cold great for the summer .

hiking
14 days ago

It was very beautiful, amazing

hiking
14 days ago

Fairly easy hike with great views. Go up stream (to the left from the parking area.) You'll see great views and have access to water fun without much effort. If you make it all the way to the end, you'll be rewarded with a decent sized waterfall.

I recommend wearing hiking boots and bringing water shoes. You should definitely have lots of water and snacks. I'm in good physical shape, this hike was easy for me.