Louise Speaks: Just around the corner from the David Wright House is the Arizona Falls. Very few know of this hidden gem, but I think it’s a great attraction right in town. Phoenix gets it’s water supply from canals. The canals run throughout the city. The transformation of a historic waterfall by SRP, (Salt River Project), the Phoenix Arts Commission and the Arcadia neighborhood allows Phoenix-area residents to experience something old and something new. Arizona Falls, formed by a natural 20-foot drop along the Arizona Canal between what is now 56th and 58th streets. The falls reopened in June 2003 as a restored hydroelectric plant and neighborhood gathering place where visitors can learn, interact and reflect. The new Arizona Falls combines art, history and technology to generate clean electricity from the canal’s waterfall.
The main entrance is on the south side where a footbridge connects the north bank to the viewing platform. Visitors, surrounded by water on three walls in the water room, may sit on large boulders as they enjoy the cool and soothing sounds of flowing water. This is very valuable in the summer months in Phoenix. Through sheets of flowing water, the antique gears used in the original hydroelectric plant can be seen. Two aqueducts frame the room to create the feeling of being inside the historic waterfall. A shade structure covers stone block seats near a pool of water, allowing visitors to enjoy the experience year-round.
These falls are not really what you would call an attraction, but it is a great site to see….in my opinion. There are hiking trails and bike trails all around the falls. There are places to sit and read, or just enjoy the cool water spray. This site was on one of those quirky things to do list, and the location is right along a main street on the east side of Phoenix. If you are in the area I would definitely say stop…if nothing else but to enjoy a cool break.