Hiking alongside a chilly spring fed stream, or plunging into a freezing cold swimming hole at the end of a good trail – are pretty radical pleasures. Perks that are extra-appreciated during Arizona’s blazing summer heat, and define some of the best Summer hikes Arizona! ! Abundant lakes in the Prescott and Mogollon Rim areas make for cooling retreats, even if sometimes swimming isn’t allowed.

Scroll down to explore water hikes by region (listed north to south). Click hike names for full details.

Phoenix Area Water Feature Hikes


Landscape, View, Boat, Cliffs, Saguaro Lake, Arizona, Perigrine Point, Butcher Jones Hiking Trail. Moderate Hikes. Phoenix Area Hikes. Family Friendly Hikes. Pet Friendly Hikes.★★★★★ Butcher Jones Hiking Trail / Moderate / Saguaro Lake / 2.5 miles

Skirting Saguaro Lake, a stunningly beautiful desert gem, this trail crosses a sandy beach, intimate reed lined coves and high pinnacles with breathtaking views.


Landscape, Lake, Hiking, Central Arizona, Bartlett Lake, Palo Verde Hiking Trail, Water Hikes, Best Summer Hikes Arizona, Arizona Hiking Trails with Water★★☆☆☆  Palo Verde Hiking Trail / Moderate / Bartlett Lake / 3.8 miles

For a perfect day at the lake, hiking, swimming and picnicking this lakeside trail can’t be beat. You’ll find gently rolling hills with gorgeous water and mountainside views. In Spring, birds and wildflowers add to the charm.


Landscape, View, Hikers, Floating Bridge, Pipeline Canyon Hiking Trail, Lake Pleasant, Phoenix Area, Phoenix, Arizona, Lake, Cove, Family Hikes, Water Feature Hikes★★★★☆ Pipeline Canyon Hiking Trail / Easy to Moderate / Lake Pleasant / 2 miles

A floating bridge crosses crystal clear water, in one of Lake Pleasant’s intimate coves. Rambling along the quiet hillsides this hike leads to a special location where wild burros and ducks might be spotted.


Hiker, Boy Playing, Aqua Fria River, Horseshoe Bar, Black Canyon Hiking Trail, Rock Spring Spur Trail, Black Canyon City, Arizona, Canyon, Phoenix Area Hikes, Water Feature Hikes,★★★☆☆ Rock Springs Spur Trail to Aqua Fria River Crossing/ Moderate / Black Canyon City / 1.4 miles

Wade in a gentle creek, or relax on a wide stone beach, outside Black Canyon City. This trail leads to a bend in the refreshingly cool Aqua Fria River, perfect for splashing in or across.

Sedona Area Water Feature Hikes


Hikers, Swimming Hole, Canyons, Wet Beaver Creek Valley, Arizona, Bell Trail, Sedona, Water Hikes, Best Summer Hikes Arizona, Arizona Hiking Trails with Water★★★★☆ Bell Hiking Trail to Wet Beaver Creek’s “Crack” at Bell Crossing / Easy / East of Sedona / 3.3 miles

Bell Trail’s irresistible “splash canyon” is perfect for an icy, spring-fed, dip. 3-miles along this creekside trail, a chilly swimming hole is wedged between tall cliffs.


Huckaby Hiking Trail; Sedona; Arizona; Landscape; View; Red Rocks; Sedona Area Hiking Trails; Oak Creek; Easy Hiking Trails; Hiking Trails with Water; Copyright azutopia.com. No use without permission★★★★☆ Huckaby Hiking Trail / 2.6 miles

Experience Oak Creek close up, on this creekside hike! Traverse the red rock ridges and treelined riverbanks along refeshing Oak Creek. Then catch some sunshine and a dip beneath Midgley Bridge.

Payson & Mogollon Rim Area Water Feature Hikes


Landscape, Teens, Fossil Creek, Waterfall, Arizona, Coconino Forest, Fossil Creek Waterfall Trail, Water Hikes, Best Summer Hikes Arizona, Arizona Hiking Trails with Water★★★☆☆  Fossil Creek Waterfall Hiking Trail / Easy / East of Camp Verde / 1.2 miles 

Blink your eyes (on this short hike) and you’ll have already arrived in paradise! A 15′ waterfall and icy-cold, turquoise pools are hiker’s rewards. Be prepared for the 15-mile dirt road to the trailhead, and large crowds in Summer.


Spring, Water, Moss, Rocks, Payson, Arizona. Horton Spring, Horton Creek Hiking Trail, Water Hikes, Best Summer Hikes Arizona, Arizona Hiking Trails with Water★★★☆☆  Horton Creek Hiking Trail / Easy / East of Payson / 3.5 miles

Like Mother Nature’s “water cooler,” Horton Spring gushes cold, crystal-clear water and chilly air year-round. This gentle trail follows the banks of beautiful, Horton Creek – to its fresh water source.


A landscape view of a small cave at the base of a sandstone cliff along West Clear Creek, off of the Maxwell Hiking Trail outside of Flagstaff and Strawberry, Arizona. Moderate Arizona hiking trails. Flagstaff area hiking trails. Arizona hiking trails with water. Copyright AZUtopia. No use without permission.★★★☆☆  Maxwell Hiking Trail / Moderate to Difficult / North of Strawberry / 0.7 miles

A string of crisp, clear swimming holes dot the creek at the base of West Clear Creek Canyon. Starting from the rim, a short, steep descent leads to a pristine canyon base.


Lanscape, Two Boys, Tonto Natural Bridge, Waterfall, Payson, Arizona, Water Hikes, Best Summer Hikes, Arizona Hiking Trails with Water Arizona★★★★☆  Tonto Natural Bridge, Pine & Gowan Hiking Trail Loop / Easy / South of Pine / 0.92 mile loop

Shiver and squeal, as ice cold droplets fall from the 14-story-high natural bridge overhead! This short loop hike mashes-up an exhilarating blend of desert, creek, cave and waterfall fun.


Water Wheel Hiking Trail; Payson; Arizona; Easy Hikes; Water Hikes; Waterfall; Swimming Hole; Hikers; Cliffs; Arizona Summer Hikes★★★★★ Water Wheel Hiking Trail / Easy / North of Payson / 1.6 miles

This short hike ends at a gushing cascade and icy swimming hole. Along its rustic river pathway, it passes dramatic waterfalls and deep gorges.


Landscape, View,Woods Canyon Hiking Trail, Kayak, Woods Canyon Lake, Mogollon Rim, Payson, Arizona, Water Hikes, Best Summer Hikes Arizona, Arizona Hiking Trails with Water★★★☆☆  Woods Canyon Lake Hiking Trail Loop / Easy / Mogollon Rim / 3.7 mile loop

Traverse a bog on a log. Skip stones. And walk under an eagle’s nest on this cooling lakeside trail. With no motorboats allowed, you’ll hear only the muffled sounds of fishermen, kayakers and people out having fun.

Prescott Area Water Feature Hikes


A landscape view of boulders and pools of water on the Aqua Fria River, in Aqua Fria National Monument, off the Badger Springs Hiking Trail, near Bumblebee, Arizona. Phoenix area hiking trails. Easy Arizona Hiking trails. Family friendly hiking trails. Dog friendly hiking trails. Copyright azutopia.com. No use without permission.★★★★☆Badger Springs Hiking Trail / Easy / East of Prescott / 0.8 miles

Have a blast exploring hieroglyphs and creekside boulders on this family friendly hike. The trail follows a short ravine to shimmering pools and an endless jumble of boulders on the banks of the Aqua Fria River.


Landscape, View, People, kayaks, Prescott, Arizona, Lynx Lake, Marina, Lynx Lake Recreation Hiking Trail, Water Hikes, Best Summer Hikes Arizona, Arizona Hiking Trails with Water★★★☆☆  Lynx Lake Recreation Hiking Trail Loop / Easy / Prescott / 2.3 mile loop

Escape life’s hustle and bustle on this pretty, tranquil lakeside hike. Tucked into an intimate mountain valley, scenic Lynx Lake stays cool all year. The level pathway is paved half-way around, making it easy for all.


Scenic View, Willow Lake, Prescott,, Arizona, Boulders, Granite Mountain, Willow Lake Loop Hiking Trail, Water Hikes, Best Summer Hikes Arizona, Arizona Hiking Trails with Water★★★☆☆  Willow Lake Hiking Trail Loop / Easy / Prescott / 5.2 mile loop

Opt to explore the rambunctious stone dells or mellow grassy banks of beautiful Willow Lake. Billowing boulders and mini-canyons flank the eastern lake shore. While broad reed lined banks flank the west.

Tucson Area Water Feature Hikes


Close-up, Tucson, Arizona, Sabino Canyon, Seven Falls, Bear Canyon Hiking Trail, Water Hikes, Best Summer Hikes Arizona★★★★★  Bear Canyon Hiking Trail to Seven Falls / Moderate / Sabino Canyon / 4.1 miles

A cascade of seven tall waterfalls most-definitely impresses, on this creekside, mountain hike! Hopscotching, the beautiful, canyon-lined, Sabino Creek, this trail leads to one of those rare natural features that get us hikers up and out the door.


Landscape, view, hikers, Romero Hiking Trail, Santa Catalina Mountains, Tucson, Arizona, Romero Pools, Waterfall, Water Hikes, Tucson Area★★★★☆ Romero Hiking Trail to Romero Pools / Moderate – Difficult / 2.8 miles

Crisp, clear pools and waterfalls are splash perfect. Beneath the high peaks of the Santa Catalina Mountains, a stream has carved an splash-worthy playground into the surrounding granite.