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Ernie's Falls Trail

Intermediate
 3.5 (2)

This short route leads through varied Arizona terrain, past a waterfall to the park boundary.


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Map Key

1.1

Miles

1.7

KM

Point to Point

3,753' 1,144 m

High

3,546' 1,081 m

Low

66' 20 m

Up

222' 68 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

15%

Max Grade (9°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

This trail begins 2.5 miles into the Douglas Springs Trail, at the junction of Douglas Springs Trail and Bridal Wreath Falls Trail. From the trailhead intersection to the rest spot is just about a mile, so a roundtrip journey would be more like 2.

Ernie's Falls Trail travels north to the signage at the boundary line. It is level at first and then descends into a wash. The waterfall is located off to the right at a rock outcropping as you descend. Look for saguaros close to the spot. You can go beyond the falls area to the wash, there is the National Park boundary line and a gate.

Feel free to pass through the gate, as it denotes the National Park/National Forest boundary, just make sure to close the gate behind you. Another .1 m down into the wash (seasonal water but can be flowing and full at times), there are slick rock boulders to sit on that make a great place to rest and eat a snack before returning back to the trailhead. The rest area described is actually in the National Forest, but journeying out to this point is pleasant and well worthwhile.

Flora & Fauna

You will encounter prickley pear, mesquite, various grasses, agave, pin cushion and cholla cactus as well. Bobcat and deer have been spotted in the area as well as lizards and snakes. Bees are around, especially with monsoon season and the abundance of flowers.

Contacts

Shared By:

Mike Barcom

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 2 votes

#21347

Overall
  3.5 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#721

in Arizona

#21,347

Overall
34 Views Last Month
1,865 Since Oct 1, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Looking down the canyon from Ernie's Falls view point. Bobcat and deer have been spotted all along here.
Aug 18, 2016 near Tanque…, AZ
Looking up the wash from rest spot. Heading back to trailhead... don't forget to latch the gate at the boundary line.
Aug 18, 2016 near Tanque…, AZ
The trail will drop as you come to a rock outcropping, to the right will be Ernie's Falls. Water is seasonal.
Aug 18, 2016 near Tanque…, AZ
The trail will start to descend presenting great views of the Tanque Verde Valley and Catalina Mountains.
Aug 18, 2016 near Tanque…, AZ
2.5 miles on Douglas Springs Trail to trail signage & intersection. Trail heads south towards mountains.
Aug 18, 2016 near Tanque…, AZ
This spot is 50 yards past the gate. Water is sometimes flowing; a great place to stop before heading back.
Aug 18, 2016 near Tanque…, AZ

Weather


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Check-Ins

Sep 2, 2020
Doug Bingham
7.2mi — 2h 30m
Jan 20, 2019
Gina G
Nov 1, 2018
Jake Baechle
Mileage is approximate. Falls are located upstream in the wash on Forest Service land. There’s no trail once you leave Saguaro. 3.2mi
Mar 26, 2018
Dan Rasmussen