Trail Rating: 1 (Easy) Departure Time: 9am Return Time: 3pm Meal: Pack a Lunch Bathroom: Yes Water Crossing: Yes Months Offered: Visible During Water Release Park Pass Required: Yes
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The Horseshoe Dam Waterfall is just 25 miles outside the beautiful town of Cave Creek. There is an easy 11 mile off-road portion of this trip to reach the dam. The dam is 1,500 feet long and 144 feet high. This dam is unique because there is a walking path that allows you to get behind the water flowing over the dam. You can get very close to the water below the dam, which cascades down into a beautiful multi-teared waterfall flowing over large rocks. The views are stunningly beautiful when there is a release of water.

Swimming (Optional)

During the warmer months, you can choose to swim below the dam or at a secluded river spot where we eat lunch together. Don't forget to pack your bathing suits and towels. Pack water shoes if you have them.

Riverside Lunch

After viewing the waterfall, we will make a brief trip to reach a secluded spot along the river to eat lunch together. Table and chairs will be provided. You must pack a lunch, snacks, and covered drinks.

Visit to Bartlett Lake (Optional)

On our way back home, you will be given the option to make a stop to also view nearby Bartlett Lake.

NOTE: This trip is only offered when SRP is performing a water release at the dam. Contact us to see if the waterfall is running before you book this trip.

Just below Horseshoe Dam is some of Arizona's best fishing. Popular spots include Catfish Point and Mesquite Cove. You can take a small boat on the Verde River just below Horseshoe Dam, but take caution, as the current can push you down the river if the SRP is releasing heavy water from the dam. You can catch a variety of fish below the dam, including large-mouth bass, flathead and channel catfish, carp, and a variety of sunfish.

Check Online if the Waterfall is Flowing:
You can check the status of the water release over the falls by visiting the following websites and looking at the Release (cfs) number:
Watershed Connection (Horseshoe Dam) - also this site: USGS Waterdata for Horseshoe Dam


Horseshoe Dam Weather

Horseshoe Dam Waterfall Day Trip



Time to Hit the Road!

8am Depart Fountain Hills or from your Hotel. Pack a lunch, snacks, drinks (must have a cover). Hiking shoes, small backpack.


Head to Horseshoe Dam

We will travel on-road 40 miles through Cave Creek from Fountain Hills heading towards Horseshoe Lake.

Off-Road Travel

Time to Take it Off-Road!

There is an 11 mile off-road portion we must travel to reach the dam waterfall. This is an easy trail rated a 1.

View the Falls

Explore the Waterfall

You will have about an hour to explore the beautiful waterfall. You will be able to walk behind the falls, crossing to the other side. There is a slope that you can hike down to get much closer to the falls. A hiking pole is suggested for stability. In warmer months, you can swim below the falls outside of the rapids. There is a walking path that leads up a hill to view Horseshoe Lake.



During the warmer months, you may choose to swim below the waterfall or at a secluded spot along the river, where we will eat lunch together. Don't forget to pack your bathing suits and towels. Pack water shoes if you have them!


Travel to Secluded River Spot for Lunch

We will travel to a secluded spot along the river to eat lunch together. A table and chairs are provided. Depending on the river spot we choose, there may be a shallow portion of the river we will have to cross. You must pack a lunch, snacks, and covered drinks.

Visit Bartlett Lake


You will be given the choice to make a visit to view Bartlett Lake as we begin to travel back home.


On-Road Travel Back Home to Fountain Hills or Your Hotel

We will travel back home on-road to Fountain Hills or your hotel from Horseshoe Lake. This will take us 1 hour to 1-1/2 hours.

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Travel Policy

  1. Those who have current back or neck injuries will not be permitted to travel.
  2. If you are pregnant you are not permitted to travel.
  3. All younger passengers must be of age to fit in a regular seat. No car seats are allowed.
  4. Pets are not allowed.
  5. Prohibited Items: firearms, weapons of any kind, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or any drugs.

What to Bring

  1. Food: You may bring a cooler for food, snacks, and drinks to enjoy during your trip.
  2. Drinks: All drinks must have a top that you can close to avoid spilling while on bumpy off-road trails.
  3. What to Wear: You should bring a jacket, sweater, or rain jacket as higher elevations will be colder and windy or in case of rain and you decide to hike.
  4. Hiking: If your tour includes a formal hike, please read my Hiking Essentials guide to learn how to pack for hiking.
  5. Swimming: If your tour requires swimming or a water hike, you will need to bring a bathing suit, water shoes, towel, and change of clothes and footwear.
  6. Medications: If you are taking any medications, be sure to bring them with you that you may require within a half-day’s time.

Cancellation Policy

  • Private Jeep Excursions has a 48-hour cancellation policy in order to receive a refund. Cancellations made less than 48 hours in advance will not be refunded.

Rescheduling and Weather Policy

  1. You may reschedule your trip up to 48 hours in advance to book a new date with no additional charge. You can not reschedule on the same date of your trip. You will need to pay a rescheduling late fee in this case.
  2. PJE will not travel during dangerous storms and severe bad weather. Your tour may need to be rescheduled if mother nature is angry on your trip date.
  3. Rainfall is often very short and may offer the chance for you to see trail-side waterfalls. Your trip will continue as planned.
  4. PJE reserves the right to modify, shorten, or cancel any tour to prevent damage to trails or avoid unsafe conditions.
  5. Severe Weather: If severe weather makes it so you have to cancel your trip prior to your departure, PJE will issue you a full refund.