We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Review Highlights
Weather Dangers Be Aware!

This is a very popular spot to hike for many people. In the summer of 2017 this area and just down... read more

Reviewed February 6, 2018
Hiker w
Phoenix, Arizona
Crowded but worth checking out

We rode a motorcycle out and packed swimsuits. I changed out of boots and threw on flimsy flip... read more

Reviewed August 31, 2015
Allanna P
via mobile
Read all 13 reviews
All photos (11)
Full view
Traveler Overview
  • Excellent32%
  • Very good15%
  • Average23%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible30%
Travelers talk about
“water wheel”(2 reviews)
“upstream”(3 reviews)
“scrambled”(2 reviews)
Local Weather
Powered by Weather Underground
8.7 Miles East of Intersection of Houston Mesa Rd and Hwy 260, You will cross several river crossings - you will park and walk through the forest road gate along the path for about a mile, then follow a trail down to the waterfall., Payson, AZ 85541
Improve This Listing
Reviews (13)
Filter reviews
13 results
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Show reviews that mention
All reviews water wheel upstream scrambled mile rocks
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 13 reviews
Reviewed February 6, 2018

This is a very popular spot to hike for many people. In the summer of 2017 this area and just down stream from here was packed with people swimming and hiking. A summer rainstorm came up and people scrambled for cover. The rain came down...More

Date of experience: June 2017
2  Thank Hiker w
Reviewed August 23, 2017 via mobile

On July 15th 2017 Very tragic event happened at this beautiful swimming hole, the monsoons rolled in and was very black and dark to the east, thunder and lightning was everywhere. There was a massive rain and hail storm that occurred over top of these...More

Date of experience: July 2017
Thank noflackjack
Reviewed June 26, 2017

My hiking club recently visited what is now called Water Wheel Falls due to the old water wheel near the parking area. It is well signed. $9 per vehicle, senior and other passes NOT accepted. Cash only, exact change required. We left the parking area...More

Date of experience: June 2017
1  Thank Shannon G
Reviewed September 14, 2016

Used be called the "cold springs". It was a hidden gem. There was not a log placed there. Used to jump off the rocks. I went there a lot during college in the mid 1970's. Not crowded at all. You could be the only one...More

Date of experience: September 2016
Thank pikemurphy
Reviewed November 1, 2015 via mobile

This hike starts out easy but becomes a bit difficult when you have to climb boulders and cross the river to get to waterfall, water can be waist deep, which is ok on a hot summer day. Views are just amazing and plenty of places...More

Date of experience: November 2015
Thank Claudia3223
Reviewed August 31, 2015 via mobile

We rode a motorcycle out and packed swimsuits. I changed out of boots and threw on flimsy flip flops and trekked down to the watering hole. I had to go barefoot for a lot of it for better balance and due to slippery rocks. The...More

Date of experience: August 2015
4  Thank Allanna P
Reviewed July 7, 2015 via mobile

We were there the weekend of 4th July and it was a total washout, not only way too many people frequent this spot, the majority of them believe that their mother is coming behind them to pick up all the trash they leave behind. There...More

Date of experience: July 2015
2  Thank noflackjack
Reviewed April 4, 2015

First, off this "easy" hike as listed in other reviews is more of an up and down rock climb. From the posts it states that it is just a walk down a path for a mile or so but in all reality is about a...More

Date of experience: April 2015
8  Thank MattP1984
Reviewed June 23, 2014

I just visited the spot in Jun, 2014. It is still there and it is still great place. We arrived Sunday, 2:00 pm and ~20 people were around. Around 4:00 pm majority of them gone. So not that many people for busy, hot Sunday. Unfortunately...More

Date of experience: June 2014
11  Thank Jacenty_1967
Reviewed February 23, 2014

Although this is a beautiful place it has severely declined in recent years. Mostly due to the publicity it has received and recent closure of Fossil Creek from the Strawberry side. I have been visiting it since 1994 and in recent years the volume of...More

Date of experience: September 2013
20  Thank noflackjack
View more reviews
Nearby HotelsSee all 12 nearby hotels
Quality Inn Payson
388 reviews
1.17 miles away
Majestic Mountain Inn
467 reviews
1.87 miles away
Super 8 by Wyndham Payson
293 reviews
1.96 miles away
Comfort Inn Payson
138 reviews
2.06 miles away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 80 nearby restaurants
Fargo's Steakhouse
471 reviews
1.89 miles away
Ms. Fitz 260 Cafe
223 reviews
1.95 miles away
Crosswinds Grille
133 reviews
1.22 miles away
La Sierra Mexican Restaurant
233 reviews
1.24 miles away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 31 nearby attractions
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
828 reviews
2.07 miles away
Rim Country Museum
94 reviews
2.77 miles away
Green Valley Park
56 reviews
2.82 miles away
Fossil Creek Wilderness
33 reviews
2.24 miles away
Questions & Answers
Get quick answers from Staircase Waterfall staff and past visitors.
Note: your question will be posted publicly on the Questions & Answers page.
Posting guidelines