“This short route leads through varied Arizona terrain, past a waterfall to the park boundary.
— Mike Barcom
Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
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.