Chiva Falls Trail
Chiva Falls Trail is an 13.8 km hard hike near Tucson that is used by hikers and off-road drivers. The trail leads through the desert to a lovely waterfall. If you like to spot wildlife, this is a great trail! Users report seeing snakes, lizards, tarantulas, and more. Since the entire hike is out in the sun with no shade, it’s important that you bring more water than you think you’ll need and wear sun protection. We don’t recommend this during the heat of the day.
Since traffic is shared on this route, we recommend keeping open ears as you hike.
Additionally, dogs should be kept on leash to keep them safe in the presence of mountain bikes and ATV and vehicle traffic. Try to plan this hike in the spring or after heavy rain to see the falls in action. While this is a hiking guide, drivers should know that this route is only recommended for experienced off-roaders.
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Route Description for Chiva Falls Trail
The Chiva Falls Trail is a mixed-use route just outside of Tucson that travels through the desert to Chiva Falls, a waterfall tucked into the rock of a canyon. This route is commonly used by hikers, mountain bikers, and off-roaders, so you’ll want to share the trail and keep your ears open.
Chiva Falls is undeniably best after it’s rained, so we recommend this hike in the early spring or after a monsoon. We don’t recommend this hike in the summertime or during the heat of the day, as it’s unshaded and just too hot. Users have reported heatstroke in some cases.
Bring plenty of water no matter how you’re traveling on this trail and protect yourself from the sun. If you plan to hike with a dog, keep them on leash for their safety given the traffic on this route and remember to pack water for them, too. If you choose to swim in the falls pool, please be careful. Waterfall pools can have unexpected currents.
Chiva Falls Trail is enjoyable for its rugged desert beauty and its abundance of wildlife. From tarantulas to rattlesnakes, users have seen an interesting range of species on this hike.
An important note for the drive in: Redington Road is in awful condition near the trailhead. You’ll need a capable high-clearance vehicle to make it through, otherwise you may end up needing to park down the road and add distance to your hike.
From the trailhead on the road, take Chiva Falls Trail as it winds along the curvature of the hills around it. Hike through a wash, after which the route flattens for most of the outbound trip. You’ll reach a junction next to Chiva Tank; stay left here.
Stay right into 4426 High Road to a 4-way junction. You’ll go left, then right at the next junction. Crossing the Tanque Verde Canyon Creek, keep generally right.
As you approach the falls canyon, stay left at the last junction. You’ll descend the canyon to the falls. Relax here for a while, dip your feet, or enjoy a picnic lunch. When you’re ready, return to the trailhead on the same route.
Hiking Route Highlights
Chiva Falls flow in the shadow of the Rincon Mountains east of Tucson. The falls are in Joaquin Canyon and they’re only active after heavy rain or when the snow at higher elevations is melting. The route to the falls is popular with mountain bikers, off-road drivers, and hikers. It’s considered a hard trail across the board.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Chiva Falls have water?
The best time to visit the falls is after consistent or heavy rain or in the early spring when there’s snowmelt. Outside of these times, the falls may or may not have water in them.
Are dogs allowed on Chiva Falls Trail?
Yes, but please keep them on leash for their safety given the vehicular and bike traffic on this route.
Do I have to pay to hike Chiva Falls Trail?
No, there is no fee required for this hike.
Insider Hints for Chiva Falls Trail
- Head out midweek or early in the morning to miss most of the ATV/vehicle traffic.
Getting to the Chiva Falls Trail Trailhead
The trailhead for the Chiva Falls Trail is off Redington Road.
Chiva Falls Trail Elevation Graph
Weather ForecastCheck Area Weather
Chiva Falls Trail Reviews
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