Cibecue Falls

Bucketlist

Camping

Hiking

Permit

Waterfall

Nature

Cibuque Falls is a breathtaking waterfall hike, a must-visit on every explorer’s bucket list. Located within the White Mountain Indian Reservation, this impressive waterfall stands out with its significant height, width, and powerful volume of water, especially during peak flow. As a dramatic plunge waterfall, it offers a stunning freefall away from the bedrock, combining beautiful scenery with a sense of tranquil remoteness.

The falls originate from a river known for its clear waters, possibly fed by rain, snowmelt, or nearby springs. The resistant bedrock, eroded over time, forms the falls’ dramatic plunge. The surrounding area, rich in flora and fauna, adds to the serene and picturesque environment.

Best Time to Visit: Cibuque Falls is a year-round attraction, particularly excellent in summer for its consistent flow. Late spring and early summer are remarkable as the waterfall is energized by melting snow and seasonal rains. Fall also brings a unique charm with vibrant foliage, even if the water flow is gentler.

The hike to Cibuque Falls is a challenging 3-4 mile trek through Cibucue Creek, requiring multiple river crossings, rock scrambling, and bush navigation. Water shoes are highly recommended for a comfortable journey. Though demanding, the hike culminates in the magnificent sight of the perennial Cibuque Falls, making it a rewarding experience for adventurous hikers.

Journey and Permit: A permit from the White Mountain Apache Tribe is mandatory and available at the Sinclaire gas station, 18 miles north of the falls. The permit, around $45, covers camping and should be confirmed in advance.

There are two primitive camping locations along the road to the trailhead.

The drive to the trailhead involves a primitive road suitable for high-clearance vehicles. This road is extremely tight, very rocky, and an adventure in itself.

It is recommended to bring water shoes as opposed to hiking boots as you will get in shin deep water as you navigate the creek to the falls.

This experience has been known to seasonally close due to the risk of flash flooding.

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Location

  • Cibecue Creek trailhead, Arizona

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