Canyon Of The Waterfalls, Superstition Mountains.

Hike Canyon Of The Waterfalls After It Rains In Phoenix!

Phoenix may be known as the ‘valley of the sun’ but it does rain from time to time. And when it does, you’ll want to be ready to hit the trails at a day’s notice in order to witness the seasonal waterfalls!

Canyon Of The Waterfalls in the Superstition Mountains is one of the best seasonal waterfalls near Phoenix. In just an hours drive you’ll be at the foot of the most popular mountain range which holds some of the best seasonal waterfalls in the valley.

In this post I’m going to guide you through all the details you need to know about Canyon Of The Waterfalls. How to time your visit, where to park, and tips for a safe hike.

Looking for more hikes in the Superstitions? Visit 11 Amazing Superstition Mountains Hikes- From A Local for more!

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Canyon Of The Waterfalls Hike Stats

  • Hiking Distance | 4.9 miles RT
  • Difficulty | Moderate
  • Elevation Gain | 1,214 ft
  • Total Time | 2.5 – 3.5 hours
  • Permits/Fees | None
  • Trailhead | Crosscut Trailhead
  • Road Conditions | 2WD, well graded dirt road. Impassible during stormy conditions.
  • Dog Friendly | Yes, dog’s allowed.

Below is a map of the route to Canyon Of The Waterfalls in Superstition Mountains.

Map Of Canyon Of The Waterfalls Hike.

Overall the trail is very rocky, slippery when wet, and has its steep sections. If you require help with balance or relieving your joints, I highly suggest packing your trusty hiking poles for this one.

It may be difficult to stay on trail without a downloaded map. I found myself looking at my map several times to make sure I was on trail. There are several intersecting trails along the way that can make it confusing. There are no signs along this route!

Preparation saves lives. Know where you are going ahead of time and always have a way to keep yourself on trail. One way to do this is with a GPS system or app like Gaia GPS.

You can download my Canyon of Waterfalls hike and gain access to my library of all tracked hikes. Once downloaded, you can load it into your own trusty device for ease of mind!

Getting To The Trailhead

The trail begins from Crosscut Trailhead off N. First Water Road. Type it into Google or Apple Maps and you’ll be lead right to it! If you are familiar with Lost Dutchman State Park, First Water Road is just past the entrance, on the right hand side of the highway. It is marked with a sign!

First Water Road is a well graded dirt road that almost any 2WD car can handle, but it does cross over flood zones. Never enter these when flooded! You enter at your own risk.

The trailhead parking lot is not very large. There are essentially two parking lots you can park at, though. If the one at Crosscut Trailhead is full, backtrack and see if you can park in the lot just down the road from it. You’re able to hop on the correct trail from either of these!

Don’t miss this other seasonal waterfall that leaves right from this same parking lot- Hiking to Massacre Falls via Massacre Grounds Trail !

Best Seasons To Hike Canyon Of The Waterfalls

Of course you want to visit Canyon Of The Waterfalls when it is flowing with water! That being said, the most likely times you can catch it flowing will be anytime between January and March when the winter and spring rain hits the Superstition Mountains.

You need to visit right after a very heavy rain or after several rainy days. Never hike during a rainstorm for risk of flooding the dirt road and flash floods on the trail. It is usually best to visit later in the day or the next day. But, if you wait several days, the water could be just a trickle.

Another period of time you may catch the waterfalls flowing is during monsoon season, typically July through August. These months can be dangerously heavy rains though, so definitely proceed with caution.

The summer months are also the hottest months and this trail wouldn’t be too fun during high temperatures! I’d time your hike during the winter and spring temperatures if you can.

Hiking To Canyon Of The Waterfalls

Hiking To Canyons Of Waterfalls, Superstition Mountains.

From the Crosscut Trailhead parking lot you’ll want to find the trail that embarks from the very end of the lot, closer towards the highway. When you hop on this it’ll take you down and across a wash, then on the other side of the wash you’ll see a sign for Jacob’s Crosscut Trail. Turn right and follow the trail until it intersects with the next one.

At the next intersection, turn left to head towards the Superstition Mountains. I couldn’t tell you which trail this is because there are no signs posted and my maps don’t even have a trail name for it!

Luckily you just have to follow this un-named trail for a good portion of the hike. It pretty much leads you up into the Canyon Of Waterfalls!

Snowcapped Superstition Mountains.

At first the trail is flat and not too rocky, but then it starts to gradually gain elevation as it nears the base of the mountains. Once you get to the base of the mountains things start to get interesting.

The trail becomes much steeper and rockier. You’ll want to watch every step in order to prevent an ankle roll.

Hiking In The Superstition Mountains To Canyon Of The Waterfalls.
Rock Formation In Superstition Mountains.

There is one tricky section where you have to take a sharp left and hop on a social trail in order to reach the waterfalls. It can be easy to miss, and if you do miss it you’ll end up in a completely different area.

This is why I highly suggest having a downloaded map with you! It is difficult to explain when this trail intersection even occurs since there are many little trails along the way. It will also help when hiking over the large exposed rock sections. Getting off trail here can be very easy!

Hiking In The Superstition Mountains.

The social trail will lead you back into the canyon and if you’re lucky the water will be flowing! It pretty much dead ends at a large waterfall. Technically the trail continues for a short way, but I couldn’t find the exact way to traverse the steep terrain.

Since I had Monty with me I chose not to chance it, and all of the hikers chose to do the same.

Hiking Into Canyon Of The Waterfalls, Superstition Mountains.
Canyon Of The Waterfalls, Superstition Mountains.

There is an area to the right of the waterfall that is flat enough to comfortably sit down and relax. Groups were eating snacks and hanging out during my visit. It is a wonderful spot to enjoy for a while before heading back to the trailhead!

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Recap: Canyon Of The Waterfalls

Canyon Of The Waterfalls, Superstition Mountains.

I took Monty to Canyon Of The Waterfalls on a Friday afternoon and it was packed! The parking lots were full and there were many large groups of hikers along the trail. Luckily, crowds aside, the weather was perfect and so was our hike!

Monty loved being able to play in the water even though it was freezing cold, and I was thrilled to knock off another hike on my bucket-list.

Even without water flowing this canyon is picturesque! I’m not sure that I would hike it without chance of waterfalls, though. The hike itself isn’t my favorite experience, especially for a dry canyon. But, to each their own! I hope this guide has helped you and you’re able to time your hike to catch the Canyon Of Waterfalls flowing strong.

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