Mountain climbing Trails, Map, Professional Ideas (2022)






Fossil Creek is a stupendous oasis within the desert of Arizona. It’s a “Wild and Scenic” river that may be accessed by way of Fossil Creek Street close to the group of Camp Verde. This river is considered one of Arizonians’ favourite leisure swimming holes, and the realm is house to three primary climbing trails: Bob Bear Path, Flume Path, and Waterfall Path.

? Route Particulars & Map

Arizona Fossil Creek Trails

  • Issue: Reasonable to Strenuous
  • Begin: Bob Bear, Flume, or Waterfall Trailheads
  • Finish: A number of areas alongside Fossil Creek, the waterfalls, the dam, or the springs
  • Distance: 2-10 miles relying on the path
  • Elevation: 250 toes – 1500 toes relying on the path
  • Common time to complete: 2-8 hours
  • Charges: $6 per car, pre-purchased on-line right here forward of time. Required from April 1st to October 1st. No reservations are wanted from Oct 2-March thirty first, and parking is on a first-come-first-serve foundation.
  • Child-Pleasant: Sure, relying on the path.
  • Pet-Pleasant: No. Protected forest space, please go away your pets at house!

Fossil Creek Mountain climbing Trails Map:

  • Purple: Bob Bear Path
  • Inexperienced: Flume Path
  • Blue: Waterfall Path

Arizona is a scorching place – that’s no shock to anybody. So what do Arizonans do through the summer time? Many select to spend their time within the pool or indoors on the film theaters or procuring.

For outside lovers, they head north to the mountains or to water and waterfalls hikes.

Fossil Creek is likely one of the hottest of this sort of hike and is simply a 2.5-hour drive from Phoenix.

On this article you’ll be taught all the pieces there’s to know in regards to the Fossil Creek space and its hikes earlier than you go to, together with sensible info, useful recommendation, and professional suggestions. Let’s discover!

Fossil Creek Falls

After a 16-month closure attributable to a close-by wildfire in 2021 and the next chance of flash flooding and ecosystem harm, Fossil Creek recreation space in Coconino County, Arizona, introduced its reopening on Friday, November 3, 2022.

Fossil Creek: What to Count on

Designated as a “Wild and Scenic River” by Congress in 2009 to guard the creek and surrounding areas, Fossil Creek was once far more accessible from both the east or the west facet. A hearth in 2021 closed down the jap entry factors from Strawberry, Arizona, leaving just one entry by car by means of Camp Verde/I-17 on the western facet.

Parking reservations are required forward of time, between the dates of April 1-October 1. You might solely park in designated areas and as a result of delicate nature of the panorama and ecosystem, tenting is just not allowed anyplace close to Fossil Creek.

Don’t let these restrictions and additional work deter you from making the journey to Fossil Creek! It’s really one of the crucial attractive and distinctive pure locations in all of Arizona, and the allow necessities restrict crowds which helps maintain this particular place clear and quieter.

Fossil Creek River in Arizona

Positioned 22 miles from Camp Verde by means of Route 260 and two dust roads (Forest 708 and Forest Street 502), high-clearance automobiles are extremely really useful for the dust highway part.

Your climbing journey to Fossil Creek has a couple of choices, relying on if you wish to go to the waterfalls or if you wish to simply attain the creek:

  • From the Waterfall Trailhead, you’ll be able to entry the attractive Fossil Creek waterfalls by means of a 2-mile (3.2 km) hike. That is the preferred vacation spot for many who go to Fossil Creek.
  • The Flume path is 10 miles (16 km) spherical journey and takes you to the outdated Fossil Creek Dam.
  • The one hike from the Strawberry (east) facet is the Bob Bear Path, which is a really strenuous and uncovered hike that’s about 8 miles (12.8 km) spherical journey with 1500 toes of climbing all through the route.

After all, if you wish to benefit from the creek however don’t wish to hike an excessive amount of, there’s creek entry from Purple Mountain, Sally Could, Homestead, Fossil Creek Bridge, and Tonto Bench parking areas. As soon as once more, parking permits are required to be bought forward of time, printed out, and offered in your dashboard.

You possibly can simply spend 2 hours and as much as a full day exploring Fossil Creek, and most of the people select to spend as a lot time as doable right here because it takes additional planning and journey to get right here than it used to.

The gate opens at 8 am and closes entry to extra automobiles at 4 pm, nonetheless, you’ll be able to nonetheless omit the exit gate after 4 pm till 8 pm. Plan accordingly, carry loads of water and snacks, and revel in one of the crucial pristine water sources in Arizona.

Fossil Creek crystal-clear river
Fossil Creek crystal-clear river

Fossil Creek is exclusive in that it appears to look out of nowhere; the creek is fed by Fossil Springs, a sequence of naturally chilly water springs that come up out of the bottom and create the flowing waters of the creek. The water is deliciously chilly the place it comes out of the bottom, however at all times filter your water when you’re planning on ingesting it!

How Lengthy Does It Take to Full the Hikes at Fossil Creek? Are the Hikes Troublesome?

The shortest hike from the Waterfall Trailhead is the waterfall hike which ought to solely take about 45 minutes a technique, however you would possibly end up spending a while on the falls to get pleasure from their splendor and sweetness!

The Flume trailhead is longer but, and there’s no creek entry till the tip if you attain Fossil Creek Dam so remember to pack sufficient water for the trek. The ten-mile spherical journey ought to take you many of the day, 4 to six hours, so begin early.

The Bob Bear Path is by far essentially the most strenuous, with 4 miles of climbing required earlier than you even attain the creek and there’s no water out there alongside the best way. The four-mile hike drops about 1500 toes right into a canyon and the hike out on this identical path could be very strenuous and uncovered to direct daylight. It is a enjoyable hike for many who love a problem, and may solely be tried by those that are in moderately fine condition.

Highlights of the Fossil Creek Space

  • The Creek: Fossil Creek water is obvious, chilly, and makes for a refreshing swim on a scorching summer time’s day. You’ll want to put on acceptable footwear out and in of the creek to guard your toes, and swimwear as effectively.
  • The Falls: Fossil Creek Falls are really spectacular; the water tumbles over a waterfall about 15 toes tall. The cliffs on both facet of the waterfall are a bit of taller, and other people get pleasure from leaping from these cliffs into the swimming pools under. Solely do that if you’re a powerful swimmer; folks have died or been injured on the falls.
  • The Springs: The Flume Path and Bob Bear Path will each take you to the headwaters of the creek, the place the springs bubble out of the bottom at an astounding 20,000 gallons per minute! The water could be very chilly when it comes out of the bottom however must be filtered to drink safely.
  • The Ecosystem: Fossil Creek and the encompassing space is a protected watershed, and you might be fortunate sufficient to see some wildlife like deer, squirrels, birds of prey, bear, coyotes, and bobcats.
  • The Bridge: The water below the Fossil Creek Bridge is deep and shaded, offering an incredible place to have a picnic and benefit from the creek with out having to hike. You’ll want to at all times “Pack it in, pack it out!”.
Fossil Creek Waterfalls in Arizona
The Fossil Creek waterfalls are indubitably attractive, however they’re not the one stunning place to see within the space

When Ought to I Go to Fossil Creek?

Arizona has the benefit of year-round outside recreation, and Fossil Creek is not any exception. I might personally keep away from the longer hikes through the hottest time of yr (June-August) however the creek is greatest loved on a warmer day as a result of coldness of the water.

Should you’re seeking to keep away from the crowds, hit up Fossil Creek on a weekday through the low season, akin to within the fall or winter. You would possibly even be fortunate sufficient to have the entire place to your self!

Instructions from the official web site:

”From Interstate 17, exit 287, flip east on state Route 260 in the direction of Payson, and journey 10 miles. Between miles 228 & 229, Forest Street 708 (Fossil Creek Street) intersects SR 260 on the best, signed as Fossil Creek/Verde River. Journey 14 miles down this tough dust highway (high-clearance 4WD automobiles really useful) to Forest Street 502 (Childs Street)”

The place to Keep Close to the Fossil Creek Space?

Camp Verde is a small city however has a couple of respectable resorts. Keep on the Days Inn by Wyndham or the Cliff Fortress On line casino Resort.

It’s solely half-hour from Camp Verde to the primary parking tons, so when you’re seeking to get an early begin, staying in Camp Verde is an efficient possibility. It’s solely a 2.5-3 hour drive from Phoenix, so visiting Fossil Creek as a day journey is feasible as effectively.

Tenting is just not permitted anyplace within the Fossil Creek protected areas through the summer time season from April 1-October 1. At different occasions of the yr, tenting is allowed in restricted spots however take care to by no means camp proper up in opposition to the creek, to guard the delicate ecosystem.

The place to Eat?

Camp Verde has your ordinary chain/quick meals eating places, making it simple to seize a sack lunch earlier than you head out to Fossil Creek.

You can even catch dinner after your day of enjoyable at one of many a number of impartial eating places on the town, akin to La Fonda, La Casita Mexican Restaurant, or Moscato Italian Restaurant.

Montezuma Burger Haus is one other native favourite; typically a burger and fries is the one factor that’ll hit the spot after a protracted day!

Professional Ideas for Mountain climbing within the Fossil Creek Space

Based mostly on my expertise climbing the Fossil Creek trails, listed here are my high suggestions that you need to comply with:

  • Pack it in, pack it out! Depart No Hint ideas ought to at all times be adopted, particularly within the Fossil Creek space as it’s a specifically protected ecosystem.
  • Carry a gallon of water for every particular person in your group. Regardless that the elevation is a bit increased right here, it will possibly nonetheless get scorching similar to the decrease deserts! Additionally, although the water is crystal-clear, don’t drink the water within the creeks until you’ve gotten a great filtration system (akin to this one).
  • Print your reservation! You’ll not get admitted by means of the entry gates until you’ve gotten a printed reservation for parking throughout the suitable season.
  • Begin your hike early when you plan on climbing. The Arizona solar is brutal and many of the climbing trails are uncovered to full daylight.
Hiking in a Creek

Close by Trails

Since Fossil Creek is a reasonably distant space, there aren’t any climbing trails from elsewhere that hook up with this space. The entire climbing is near the creek or throughout the canyon, so your greatest wager at seeing and having fun with the creek is by getting a reservation allow and utilizing the out there parking tons.

At a 1.5-hour drive from Fossil Creek, there’s the Water Wheel Falls path which can be a stupendous water climbing path. I wrote an entire information about it too: Water Wheel Falls climbing path information.

Closing Phrases

Fossil Creek is likely one of the most stunning and peaceable locations in all of Arizona, particularly for being so near the Phoenix metro.

Earlier than it was a protected space as a “Wild and Scenic River”, it used to get very crowded and even trashed by guests. Now, with the restricted permits out there and with extra driving required to go to, Fossil Creek is a bit of quieter and preserved for guests.

For many who love seeing native natural world, and revel in cliff leaping, climbing, and swimming, visiting Fossil Creek, the waterfall, and the springs is a no brainer.

As Fossil Creek opens once more after this latest closure, I’ve a sense folks will probably be clamoring for permits to get again into considered one of Arizona’s greatest leisure areas.

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