If you are in the Payson area and have some time to kill. Here are little gem. Its about 20 minutes from Home Depot off a road called Houston Mesa. The road has a gorgeous view of the Mogollan Rim. There’s even a sign for Water Wheel parking after your cross a large concrete bridge.
The hike was about 1 1/4miles that I did. You stay along a tributary of the Verde River. Our experience of the first features is a Box Canyon which terminates with a sixty foot ribbon waterfall. The sides of the canyon are polished granite. The same water below has ride high up these walls and across to smooth the granite.
At the top of the Box Canyon,we have a much more open landscape. Plenty of water flows from multiple sides. Willow trees mix in with Sycamore and pines. There are several cascades that wind around close to the waters edge. They call out to you. I took advantage of dry conditions to explore at least 15 different cascades and third waterfall about 20 minutes from the end of the box canyon. The hike is probably closer to moderate with notrouble a lot of shade. Bring water or drink well before and after.
There are critters calling this home. The tarantula here is about three inches long and blends in really well. Several small lizards run rock to rock. I even saw a butterfly in November. There were few birds.
The Big Island of Hawaii has two sides. Most of us tourists stay on the Kona side. There are far more places to stay there. There are more restaurants. There’s more people. Don’t feel bad about Hilo, it gets more rain! Well, that means more waterfalls! Several parks are either in or within half hour of Hilo. These are reasonable things you can do with a day in Hilo.
A half hour North of Hilo is a very special place. As you need a four wheel drive truck to go in special. You rental car will take you to a great vantage point overlooking Waipio Valley. A tube shaped valley framed bit steep walls. Inside the roads are streams. Ribbon waterfalls are everywhere. A black beach is down there too. Important part here. The locals hate you. If you get the chance to go down the hill, make a right at the bottom of the road between a pair of guard rails. There may not be any good signage. Currently the area is closed due to dengue fever. The picture used is from Wikipedia.