Exploring Grand Falls in Flagstaff, Arizona

To see the falls is a lucky site, it is a perineal fall along the Little Colorado River. It only runs at certain times of the year from the monsoon rains, and snow melt. At 185 feet tall, this makes Grand Falls taller than Niagara Falls.

I went up to Grand Falls on a whim a few weeks ago, and with all the rain and snow in Arizona recently it was flowing. I know, you’r thinking, snow in Arizona? Yes, it snows all over Arizona, it even snowed in Scottsdale this year!

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Directions to Grand Falls

Taking the I-40, drive 15 miles east of Flagstaff, take the exit 211 at Winona. Drive a little over 2 miles north to Leupp Rd. Turn right and drive 20 miles until you cross a cattle guard, and you will see a small sign displaying Grand Falls. Turn left on the dirt road and drive along for about 9 miles, this will get you to the falls overlook.

Driving down the paved road toward the falls, you would never know what lies ahead based on this land scape.
This is where you will pull up right to the edge of the Little Colorado River.

Once you drive to the destination, park, hike around, and take in the views, when the water is not running you can cross the dry river bed. When the water is running DO NOT CROSS the river as you will possibly be swept away down the 185 foot falls.

Stoked to be there!
This is the Little Colorado River just north of the falls.

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Little Colorado River leading up to the actual falls.
There is a sitting area right near the falls and a few other armadas spread about.
This is a look at the falls from near the ramada.

This is the second time I have been to Grand Falls, and this is the most water I have seen of my trips here. The previous trip was just a trickle compared to this time.

You can walk around from the parking lot for different views of the falls.
Working my way around to the front view of the falls.
Another straight on view.

This place is so amazing and every picture looks different, it is a photographer, blogger, and instagram paradise!

Just taking a good look at the falls and the canyon down below. Shout out to my girlfriend for the cool picture!

You can hike to the bottom!

You can definitely hike to the bottom of the falls, although I did not go to the bottom this trip, I have been to the bottom before. There is a small relatively simple trail if you keep following the canyon west a little ways. Its hard to miss the trail, but once you find it work your way down slowly. It is worth it!

I do however have photos from a previous trip I went on to see the falls. Check it out!

In this photo I have already gotten down the small trail that you hike down on.
Waltzing my way closer to the falls.
Down in the bottom, the falls were much less the previous trip down. Still impressive though.

It is worth it to hike around the bottom of the falls. I did, and made my way up in to some of the higher corners of the canyon. I was even able to get on top of the middle tier of the falls because the water level was so low.

I really like the small falls that split on the right side of this photo.
You can see the small trail in the bottom left of this photo.
Working my way up to the top of the falls.
Right next to one of the falls, the water and breeze cooled me off nicely.
Looking back at the trail I came down on. I’m on the middle ledge of the falls now.
I scaled one of the walls near the falls and got this last cool shot before heading back out on the trail.

Grand Falls is an impressive place within Arizona, and really not too many people know about it. Its easy to get to, and hiking in and around the area is pretty easy.

I hope I can inspire you to make your way out to see Grand Falls, also known as Chocolate Falls. As always respect the rules on the native lands and try to reduce your impact on this beautiful place. Enjoy!

“Sometimes you just need an adventure to cleanse the bitter taste of life from your soul.” – Unknown


2 thoughts on “Exploring Grand Falls in Flagstaff, Arizona

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  1. Outstanding you found water! I have been dozens of times and most of the time it’s not running much. It’s kind of by luck by golly to get it when it flows heavily. Great pix.

    1. Thanks for reading! The key to seeing these falls at a good running is to go during monsoon season, or during snowmelt season. Its pretty spectacular to see it flowing strong! I hope you make it out when its running well someday!

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