Phoenix With Kids

Horseshoe Dam Lake and Waterfall

Take a unique trip to see Horseshoe Dam lake and waterfall! No hike involved, just a desire for an adventure.

Jana Tingom

Take a unique trip to see Horseshoe Dam lake and waterfall! No hike involved, just a desire for an adventure.

The waterfall only runs when there is a planned release of water over the spillway. We went in March this spring and the waterfall was roaring.

The dam is 1,500 feet long and 144 feet high. This dam is also unique because there is a walking path that allows you to get behind the water flowing over the dam. The water cascades down into a beautiful multi-teared waterfall, Arizona’s own mini Niagara Falls! The views are beautiful when there is a release of water. We also wandered around on either side of the dam for more views, but didn’t stay long because it was very windy and thunder signaled an incoming rain storm.

Horseshoe Dam is 25 miles outside the town of Cave Creek, and there is an 8 mile dirt road portion of this trip to reach the dam. Searching for the dam on Google maps will bring up the correct location (note there is no cell service on the dirt road). Our mini van did great navigating around a few potholes and large rocks, but definitely use caution if driving here after a rain as some areas of the road are a dirt and sand mixture.

Horseshoe Dam Lake and Waterfall

When you get closer to the lake, look for signs to Horseshoe Overlook. Park here, and you can get a full view of the waterfall! Then follow the trail up towards the dam, to access the walking point behind the waterfall.

Check this website for the current CFS runoff on the waterfall, the higher the better! (It was around 2,300 when we visited.) Thanks to a follower for sharing this! The offical lake website is here.

Of note, it may be helpful to bring rain jackets for the behind the waterfall walk, especially for littles. Also, our 5 year old was not crazy about the loud roar, so keep this in mind. Pack a picnic lunch and stay a bit to enjoy the views! There is a recreation area down by the river, but there wasn’t easy river access at the time we visited.

Our YouTube video has lots of visuals of what it’s like to visit this unique spot!

More lakes and water play areas around Arizona can be found here!

Author

  • Jana Tingom

    Jana is a homeschooling mother of three children, and lives in Scottsdale with her husband, Chris. She enjoys traveling, reading and coffee. Follow @phoenixwithkids on Instagram for daily photos around Phoenix!

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