Grand Falls AZ
in Travel



I have lived in Arizona since 1990 and this year was the first year I went to Grand Falls. I didn’t even know it existed until my son told me about it. So, I googled it. The Grand Falls is also known as the chocolate falls because it looks like the chocolate waterfall in the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The falls looks like chocolate because they are full of mud, yet it is a sight to be seen.  The Grand Falls is an incredible phenomenon. The falls were formed by volcanic runoff from Merriam Crater and a lava dam. The Grand Falls is located 30 miles East of Flagstaff on the Navajo Nation in the Painted Desert. The falls are fed by the snowmelt and rain from the White Mountains and flows into the Little Colorado River. For this reason, there are only specific times of year that the waterfalls are flowing. The best time to see the falls are during March and April when the snow melts from earlier in the year and sometimes you can see the falls during the monsoon season but the window to see the falls is short.

Grand Falls is one of the five highest waterfalls in Arizona. Grand Falls is part of the Little Colorado River and its headwaters are in the White Mountains in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. Grand Falls is over 181 feet tall and known for the beautiful rainbows created by the impact and spray of the falls and is taller than Niagara Falls but not nearly as wideIf you are looking to spend the day checking out what Grand Falls Arizona has to offer, be sure to utilize the picnic benches and gazebos next to the edge of the gully.

Directions to Grand Falls Arizona:

From I-40, 15 miles east of Flagstaff, take exit 211 at Winona. Drive 2.3 miles north to Leupp Rd. Turn right and drive 20.3 miles to unpaved and unsigned Indian Road 6910 (between mileposts 5 and 6). Turn left and drive along this rough road 9.4 miles to the turnoff on the left, which leads to the falls overlook. The waterfall is remote and no major paved roads access it. The closest road, Grand Falls Road, crosses the floor of the Little Colorado River and at times during the year, only a four-wheel-drive vehicle can traverse it.

A Navajo Nation hiking permit is not required to visit the Falls leaving the roads or trails is against Navajo Law. After driving over the worst surface imaginable the canyon opens out of nowhere.