We love a rewarding hike, and thankfully there are plenty to choose from in the Grand Canyon State. This awesome waterfall in Arizona is accessible by a short trail and has a refreshing swimming hole you can play in before heading back. 

Water Wheel Falls is a short, out-and-back trail that's only 1.5 miles long and takes you to a super fun waterfall that looks more like a natural waterslide. 

At the base of the falls is a swimming hole with gorgeous, clear water, perfect for a refreshing swim in the summer. Wear your suit under your clothes and take a dip (or lounge for a while) before finishing your hike. 

It's highly recommended to wear grippy, waterproof shoes to do this trek, as many parts of the trail cross ponds and creeks. Plus, the surrounding rocks can be incredibly slippery when wet, so plan accordingly. 

The trail is prone to flash floods, so the best time to visit is March through October. 

There are restrooms at the trailhead and the cost to enter is $6 per car. Why not make it a group affair? 

This makes for an awesome day spent with friends. Pack a picnic, some towels, and hang out in the water all day. 

There are plenty of big rocks to set up camp on so you can enjoy the views and the sunshine for hours. 

Bring your pupper along for some of the fun too. The refreshing water is perfect for a swim.

Note that there is no "official trail" to get to Water Wheel Falls, hikers mention that it is more of a use trail. Luckily, it's short enough that you don't need to worry about getting lost. 

We've been told the water can be quite chilly, so prepare for a brisk dip if you go in! 

Water Wheel Falls

Difficulty: Easy 

Length: 1.5 miles round trip

Address: Payson, AZ

Why You Need To Go: This short hike takes you to an awesome waterfall and super clear swimming hole! 


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.