Flagstaff has an amazing waterfall that is a little off the beaten path. It is called Grand Falls by some, but we called it Chocolate Falls, because the water is very brown and reminded us of a fondue fountain. Grand Falls Arizona is definitely worth a stop.
Grand Falls is accessible via dirt road, and it isn’t a very nice dirt road. The falls is also a ghost waterfall, which means that there are times when it is spectacular, times it is low, and times it nearly disappears entirely. The best way we found to check the falls is to use an Instagram hashtag and see what other people are seeing. If there are recent visits that look good, give it a try.
It is said that the overall height of this waterfall is higher than Niagara. When we went the water was pretty high, and the curtain was very long with more cascading sections than you could count.
There are lots of different angles to view the waterfall depending on how far you want to walk along the rim. We wandered around for about an hour admiring the waterfall and taking pictures. Grand Falls is amazing! Make sure to check it out if you’re in the Flagstaff area. You might be lucky enough to see the Chocolate Fondue Falls, too!
To get to Grand Falls Arizona, take exit 211 off the 1-40 at Winona (it’s about 15 miles east of Flagstaff). Drive 2.3 miles north to Leupp Rd. Turn right and drive 14.5 miles out to a road signed as 70. This road has a sign pointing to the left that says Grand Falls. It is just past the line for the Navajo Nation.
This road is not muddy, because it has a hard base, but the washboards will shake the lugnuts right off the tires. A passenger car can easily make this trip. Follow the road for 7.5 miles. At this point, you can see a narrow turnoff and a restroom on the left side of the road. That’s the way to go. If you continue on, you will come to the river after less than half a mile. You must either ford it, or turn around. Turn around, because you’ve gone too far.
Park at the restrooms and you’ll hear the roar of the falls (if there’s enough water). Walk over to the edge and you can get a glimpse of the top of the falls. Around to the left there are view points, and if you walk far enough through the sharp volcanic rock, you can see the cascades from straight on.
For other ideas near Grand Falls, check out our post on Things to Do Near Flagstaff.