Blue Wash Trail
Blue Wash Trail is a scenic 4.5 km hike in the Tonto National Forest north of Phoenix. This route leads you through a wash to Camp Creek Falls. With rugged canyon scenery, a few viewpoints, and the flowing water to follow as you near the falls (depending on the time of year), this is an enjoyable hike for all skill levels. This trail is also popular with horseback riders, so remember to share the route.
We like this hike best when there’s been recent rain, but definitely wait until the rain has passed to hike it. There would be flash flooding danger on this trail during a monsoon. Wildlife like rattlesnakes have been spotted on this hike, so enjoy the critters you see from a safe distance.
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Route Description for Blue Wash Trail
Blue Wash Trail is a scenic hike that leads you through a wash flanked by stone walls to a little waterfall in a short canyon. The trail is enjoyable and suitable for most skill levels, making this a nice pick for families or hikers seeking an outing that isn’t too hard. This is also a popular pick for horseback riders, who you may encounter as you explore.
We recommend visiting in the spring or early summer when there’s been some rain. In this case, you can follow the flow of water for the last few steps to the waterfall, which is at its best when it’s been wet out. Of course, stay off the trail when rain is imminently in the forecast as this area is prone to flash flooding.
Users report seeing rattlesnakes on the trail on occasion, so remember to observe all wildlife from a safe distance. You could spot birds of prey or small desert mammals as you go- this is a good trail for wildlife.
The signage on this route lacks, but it’s easy enough to follow the wash. Should you want a bit more guidance, a GPS route can help you find your way.
The trailhead is at a dirt pullout beside the road. You’ll hike downhill on a wide dirt path with nice views into the wash. When you reach a Y junction, you can take either route down into the wash.
Once in the wash, you’ll be hiking through rocky sand. The canyon walls look as if they’ve been constructed out of rock slabs, and you might run into deer or some other critters.
After about a mile of hiking through the wash, it widens. At the T junction, go left. This path takes you to the waterfall, which may be preceded by a stream. If you have water shoes, now is a good time to put them on as you may have to cross the stream.
Stick left as the canyon narrows. When you reach the end of the canyon, look for the falls on the back wall. This spot offers some of the only shade on the trail, so cool off, dip your feet, and enjoy the canyon before preparing to head back.
To get back to the trailhead, you’ll retrace your steps. Note that the return trip is where you’ll gain your elevation since the trip to the falls is mostly downhill. Pack extra water to get you back to the car.
Hiking Route Highlights
Camp Creek Falls
Camp Creek Falls sits at the end of Blue Wash Trail on Camp Creek. This little waterfall trickles into a stone canyon over three tiers. The falls are not always present in the summer heat, but they normally flow strongly throughout the spring and to a lesser extent in the wintertime. Hikers and horseback riders come to the pool at the falls to enjoy the view and cool off, and local wildlife comes to rehydrate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a parking lot for the Blue Wash Trail?
While there isn’t a formal lot, there’s room to park on the pullout on the highway near the trailhead.
Can I bring dogs on the Blue Wash Trail?
Yes, dogs are allowed as long as they’re leashed. Remember that horse traffic on the trail may be spooked by an unleashed animal.
Insider Hints for Blue Wash Trail
- Try to visit when there’s been recent rain to enjoy the falls at their best.
- This is a hot route! Bring sunscreen, a hat, and more water than you think you’ll need.
Getting to the Blue Wash Trail Trailhead
The trailhead for the Blue Wash Trail is on N Cave Creek Road.
Blue Wash Trail Elevation Graph
Weather ForecastCheck Area Weather
Blue Wash Trail Reviews
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