Arizona is home to more unique rock formations than we can count, but this one just might be the most enchanting. Head to Water Wheel in Arizona to embark on a hike that leads to a mystical staircase resembling a scene from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The trail at Water Wheel in Arizona is one of the best you can take in the state!

As there’s not an official trail to this site, the easiest way to find it is by routing your GPS to Water Wheel in Arizona and parking there. Take the northernmost path from the lot and you’re on your way! Here’s a map to help:

Please note: although beautiful, this area is prone to flash floods which claimed the lives of an entire family some years ago. We strongly implore you to check the forecast before heading out and remain alert and aware while you’re exploring.

Have you ever taken this hike? Have you gone camping at Water Wheel in Arizona before? Are you familiar with the Stairway to Heaven? What are some other lesser-known trails in Arizona that lead to unique destinations? Share your recommendations in the comments section, and don’t forget to share photos of your adventures on our Arizona Nature Lovers Facebook group!

And for more incredible hikes in The Grand Canyon State, check out these 12 bucket-list-worthy hikes in Arizona.

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More to Explore

Stairway to Heaven Arizona

  1. What are some scenic hikes in Arizona?

If you thought the hike to Water Wheel Campground in Arizona was stunning, you'll be pleased to learn that The Grand Canyon State is home to myriad majestic treks. Monolith Garden Trail in Kingman is one of our favorite shorter treks; one of the more impressive hiking routes located in the Kingman area, this one is quick but not short on nature views. The Grand Canyon's South Rim Trail is something everyone must do once in their lifetime; the trail leads to some of the most stunning vistas in the park. Devils Bridge Trail is another scenic hike in Arizona that we love; it's 4.2 miles long and rated as moderate, leading to the largest sandstone arch in the area—not to mention panoramic vistas that are second to none!


2. Where are some great places to camp in Arizona?

If you’ve been wanting to enjoy a night or more camping in our vast wilderness, here are a few suggestions of the best camping spots in Arizona. These sites not only are accessible and great for newbies, but they also offer some beautiful views. Actually, is there anywhere in Arizona you can’t find an incredible view? (That's a rhetorical question...) Some of our favorite places to camp in Arizona include Hannagan Meadow Campground, a campsite located in eastern Arizona that is routinely referred to by campers and journalists as the prime recreation area in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest; Lost Dutchman State Park, a classic 'desert' park with 134 campsites; and Lynx Lake Campground, a surprising oasis located just minutes from Prescott.

3. Is Arizona a dangerous place to live?

While the state boasts some serious sublime natural beauty, there are also many dangers lurking in Arizona. Grand Canyon National Park has been repeatedly ranked as the most dangerous park in the US, but the hazards don’t stop there — Arizona is home to myriad dangerous animals and insects. Some, like the infamous Arizona rattlesnakes, pose well-known threats; others, such as a particular breed of beetle, are seemingly innocuous creatures with the capacity to kill. Read more about the dangerous animals in Arizona, and be careful on your next hike!

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