The Stats: Trail name: Camp Creek Falls Trail Location: Cave Creek, AZ Distance: 4.9 miles out and back Elevation Gain: 295 feet Published Difficulty: Easy Dog Friendliness: Definitely safe for dogs to surf here
I’m a sucker for a good waterfall, and waterfalls right near the Phoenix metro aren’t easy to come by. For that reason, I was pretty amped when I learned about Camp Creek Falls in Cave Creek, AZ. An oasis in the desert? Count me in. I mean, it’s our name, after all.
The Trail to Camp Creek Falls
There isn’t really an “official trail” to Camp Creek Falls, but you’ll be able to follow along the well-worn footpaths through the massive blocks of granite surrounding you. The hike begins by weaving through “boulder alley.” This is the most rocky terrain you’ll experience before the trail becomes a wash. Note that there are some spots that require minor scrambling, but nothing unreasonable. If you come to a cliff that looks too high to pass, look right. There’s a trail that will take you down onto Blue Wash.
At 1.1-miles into the hike, Blue Wash intersects with Camp Creek at a wide “T” junction. You’ll know you’re there by the American Flag waving at the top of the hill (pictured below). Turn left (northeast) here and hike 0.28 miles along the creek until you reach Camp Creek Falls.
The falls themselves are about 10 feet tall and are contained within a beautiful box canyon. Crawl on the rocks for a while, set up that self-timer and get your shot of one of the rare Phoenix metro-area waterfalls.
Directions to Cave Creek Road trailhead
From Loop 101 in Scottsdale, take the Princess/Pima exit 36 and drive 13 miles north on Pima road to Cave Creek Road (a.k.a. Seven Springs Road and FR24). Follow Cave Creek Road 6.5 miles to the gravel lot on the left just past the “Blue Wash #1” sign. Trail begins near the cottonwood trees across from the parking place.
Looking for another Arizona hike?
Pick up the 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Phoenix book. Or view other trail recaps below. Happy trails!