Picture Canyon Waterfall

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Hiking

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Waterfall

Nature

The Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve, encompassing Picture Canyon Falls, is a remarkable area rich in both ecological diversity and cultural history. Spanning approximately 480 acres, the preserve is a testament to Flagstaff’s commitment to protecting natural and cultural resources.

Ecologically, the preserve is a haven for a variety of plant and animal species, particularly those adapted to the riparian environments created by the Rio de Flag and its tributaries flowing through the area. This environment supports a wide range of flora and fauna, including unique bird species, making it a popular spot for birdwatchers.

One of the most striking features of Picture Canyon is its historical and cultural significance. The area is adorned with numerous petroglyphs, some dating back hundreds of years, created by the indigenous peoples who once inhabited the region. These petroglyphs provide a window into the past, offering insights into the cultural practices and beliefs of these early inhabitants.

The preserve also features several hiking trails, including the Tom Moody Trail and a 3.9-mile loop trail. These trails not only allow for exploration of the natural landscape but also provide educational opportunities through interpretive signs that explain the ecological and historical aspects of the area.

Moreover, the preserve’s management focuses on conservation and education, aiming to protect the natural and cultural resources while promoting public awareness and appreciation. This approach ensures that the Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve remains a cherished and well-preserved part of Flagstaff’s natural heritage, offering a unique combination of scenic beauty, wildlife viewing, and a glimpse into the ancient cultures of the region.

Accessing the falls involves a 0.4-mile walk along the Tom Moody Trail from the preserve’s parking lot, making it accessible for all visitors. For an extensive exploration, a 3.9-mile loop trail offers canyon views, petroglyph access, and interpretive areas. Walking counter-clockwise on this loop provides an easy path to the falls.

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