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Tanque Verde Falls in Arizona 2024

A secluded waterfall with an easy access not far from Tucson

Best time: March–October

Tanque Verde Falls
Tanque Verde Falls
Tanque Verde Falls

Tanque Verde Falls are located in Tanque Verde Canyon east of Tanque Verde, Arizona, about half hour from Tuscon. The series of falls lie south of Redington Road, between the Tucson Valley and the San Pedro River valley. Tanque Verde Falls can be reached by a short 1.8-mi (2.89-km) trail with 393 ft (119.7 m) of elevation that is rated as moderate. The best time to use it runs from March to October. But spring and early summer offer more opportunities to see the falls flowing.

This trail starts at the Lower Tanque Verde Falls Trailhead, near the parking lot on the left side of Reddington Road. Besides the main 80-ft (76.7-m) waterfall, hikers can see several smaller waterfalls and swimming holes along the trail.

Check the weather forecast before this hike, since being in a canyon during rainy periods can be rather dangerous due to sudden flash flooding.

Practical info

What is the difficulty level of the Tanque Verde Falls trail?

Rated as moderate, the Tanque Verde Falls trail stretches just 1.8 mi with 393 feet of elevation. Experience and sturdy shoes are necessary as the trail combines steep and rocky parts along with possible hot desert conditions. Keeping to the track path to prevent accidents on slippery rocks or erosion damage is also crucial. Show more

Where is the best place to park for access to the waterfall trail?

When heading to the Tanque Verde Falls waterfall trail, utilizing the small parking lot just off Reddington Road on the left side located at the Lower Tanque Verde Falls Trailhead provides access to amenities like picnic tables and restrooms. Note that parking may be harder to come by during set times due to elevated individuals walking the area. Show more

When is the best time to visit Tanque Verde Falls?

For the best season to visit Tanque Verde Falls, between March and October balances weather and trail accessibility. However, visiting during spring and early summer is ideal to see the falls at full capacity due to winter rain and snow, optimizing the beauty of the area. Visitors should avoid the rainy season and late summer due to minimized water access and increased flood risk. Show more

Are there any other smaller waterfalls or swimming holes to see along the trail?

There are opportunities along Tanque Verde Falls Trail to see smaller waterfalls and swimming pools, offering much needed and refreshing pauses from hiking, especially on hot desert days. Hikers should be vigilant and maintain necessary avoidances like distance from the water's edge, obeying caution signs for harmful risks like slippery rocks and flash flooding, and showing care for delicate ecosystems. Show more

What are the risks of hiking during a rainy season, and how can they be avoided?

Canyon hiking during rainy seasons is precarious due to the risk of sudden flash floods, typically with little chance to escape. To avoid this, people should avoid hiking in these periods, stay informed by checking weather forecasts before beginning hiking. Choose to hike before rains begin to minimize risk. They should also be alert during accessible times as water levels can rise without immediately visible signs of rain near the trail due to connecting mountainous areas upstream. Show more

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