SJ's Hike of the Week: Massacre Falls

SJ's Hike of the Week: Massacre Falls


Distance: 5.3 Miles

Difficulty: Moderate

ElevationGain: 1089'

DogFriendly: Yes!

Permit/Pass Required: No!

Getting There: From Phoenix, take US-60 East to the Idaho Road exit (#196), turn left. After Main Street, take HWY-88. After about 5 miles you will pass the Lost Dutchman State Park on the right side of the road. Go 0.2 miles further to the First Water trail head turnoff. Drive 0.5 miles. The trail head for the Crosscut trail is on your right - this is also the trail head for the Massacre grounds trail. See Map.

Tips: Bring plenty of water and hiking shoes with good tread (I witnessed a hiker with a cactus stuck through his tennis shoe who was definitely regretting his choice of footwear).

About the Hike: When I moved to Arizona, I had no idea that I could spend a weekend chasing waterfalls, but contrary to popular belief, there are PLENTY of them in the region! This hike - a mere 45 minutes from Phoenix - not only rewards you with the beautiful Massacre Falls but stunning vistas of Lost Dutchman, the Superstitions and the historic Massacre Grounds. The trail can be difficult to follow in a couple spots, so keep your eyes up and if possible follow the trail map on an app like AllTrails to keep you en-route. My pup and I admittedly got a little off-track, but it was easy enough to find our way back - just keep your eyes on the waterfall and follow the creek. Watch for angry cacti if you do meander off-trail (tall socks and long pants are also recommended).

This trail is a great trail for the whole family. My short-legged 20 pound pup had no problems at all and loved swimming in the pool below the falls. We saw elderly folks and children alike and managed to see the falls and find our way back to the car in about 2.5 hours.

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