Workman Creek Gorge and Falls Overlook

20 Min
40 Min
View from Workman Creek Gorge and Falls Overlook

A mix of scenery surrounds you from an area where the Forest Service Road 487 (NF-487) makes a couple of turns between Workman Creek Gorge and some rock cliff formations that rise up to form pinnacles and hoodoos. There are several viewpoints here for getting a view of Workman Creek Falls that spills over an oval shaped cliff 180 feet into the gorge below. This is a height so great that the waterfall seems to disappear into thin air unless it has enough flow of water, but even if the water level disappoints, there are still other features to be enjoyed here.

The waterfall is three miles from the main road and becomes a steady climb uphill in a forest of Ponderosa and Douglas Fir where an opening in the forest and the road twisting and crossing a bridge marks the beginning of this location along with jersey barriers placed on your right. To your left and in front of you are tall cliffs of pinkish and orange featuring some nice looking hoodoos that are at the base of Baker Mountain. Your attention here will be attempting to catch a sighting of the Workman Creek Falls from across the deep gorge, and you'll soon discover this is your best view point for it. Through a break in the vegetation you may sight either a complete waterfall that spills down a slope and tumbles freely over the cliff or just see some white coloration of the spillway indicative of water that seemingly disappears after. The marbled looking walls of the gorge, rounded in the shape of an open oval, are helped with the scale of their height by some Douglas Fir rising up from the bottom of the gorge. As you continue along the road you'll make a right over a culvert and follow it below some cliffs to a location near where Workman Creek flows before falling into the gorge. Here some large rocks are placed to protect vehicles from going over the cliff. From this location you have a gorgeous view of the lush forested landscape between two mountains, Carr Mountain to your left and Baker Mountain to your right. The green landscape of the distant mountains is only pierced by occasional reddish looking cliff formations that are common in the Sierra Ancha Mountains. Jack Mountain, four miles in the distance, is one of the more recognizable peaks as it rises to 6534 feet in elevation. From this location, you can also get a good view of the pinnacles and hoodoos to your right. The arid landscape around them is in contrast to the more lush looking vegetation that surrounds you on three sides. Experienced hikers and climbers can follow a side trail up and around the pinnacles that lead to a cliff formation with Indian ruins below it.

Following NF-487 from here leads to more subtle scenery as the road meanders ever higher in elevation passing through conifer forest broken by the occasional meadow with aspen trees. Eventually it will lead to the top of Aztec Peak. Not long after the waterfall you'll find a strange building with a small dam on your right. Turning around and heading back towards the overlook will provide you a scene of a sheer cliff rock to your right with a sweeping vista of the opening between two mountains.


The road near the falls is extremely dangerous to inexperienced four wheel drivers, and can be especially so during or following rain or snow. Loose ground material precede the edge of the cliffs and has led to people falling off in the past.

How to Access

Follow Globe-Young Highway until you come to signs for Workman Creek and turn onto Forest Road 487. There are several spots along the way to pull off and park and most high profile vehicles can reduce the distance to the falls by a couple of miles. In a typical SUV I was able to reduce my hiking distance to one mile out of caution.

Get Directions to Parking Using Google Maps:

Adjacent Places

More Information

Approaching this location along NF-487 from the Globe-Young Highway you'll pass some interesting warning signs letting you know the area is high in radioactivity and probably find equal amazement in the campgrounds that are in this valley despite that.

Workman Creek Gorge and Falls Overlook is located in Arizona, near Young, Arizona.

Map for Place