Fossil Springs Trail

Strawberry, Arizona

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3 Reviews
4 out of 5
This trail takes you to Fossil Springs and a historic diversion dam on Fossil Creek in the Fossil Springs Wilderness. The trail follows the route of an old jeep trail, and descends northeast below the rim of the canyon. It soon turns northwest and continues its descent for more than a mile through pinyon-juniper woodland. When you reach Fossil Creek, turn left and hike downstream. Although upper Fossil Creek often flows, there’s no mistaking the added volume when you reach Fossil Springs. These warm springs gush from the right bank of the creek.

Fossil Springs Trail Professional Review and Guide

"This trail takes you to Fossil Springs and a historic diversion dam on Fossil Creek in the Fossil Springs Wilderness. The trail follows the route of an old jeep trail, and descends northeast below the rim of the canyon.

It soon turns northwest and continues its descent for more than a mile through pinyon-juniper woodland. When you reach Fossil Creek, turn left and hike downstream. Although upper Fossil Creek often flows, there’s no mistaking the added volume when you reach Fossil Springs. These warm springs gush from the right bank of the creek."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Strawberry
Distance: 6.8
Elevation Gain: 860 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: Day hike
Season: Best April to November
Trailhead Elevation: 5,800 feet
Top Elevation: 5,800 feet
Local Contacts: Payson Ranger District, Tonto National Forest; Beaver Creek Ranger District, Coconino National Forest
Local Maps: USGS Strawberry; Tonto National Forest
Driving Directions: Directions to Fossil Springs Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

7/18/2009
0

Great Hike! Bring Tons of water, seriously. There were people along the trail being treated for heat exhaustion and dehydration. Also I would not recommend this hike for dogs as the trail is very rocky and difficult. The spring is the best in AZ and worth spending a few hours in. If you continue on the dirt road past the turnoff for the hike there is a much easier hike into a different part of the spring but if you are in the mood for a hike to a beautiful spring and swimming hole this is the perfect hike.


6/16/2001
0

There are 2 trail-heads that both lead to Fossil Springs. The first one you come to is 4 miles to the spring and dropping 2000 feet of elevation in that distance. The return trip is grueling, it would be a good idea to rest for an hour or so before making the trip back up the steep terrain, especially if you are a beginner. We went on the week-end and found many people at the trail-head and also an ambulance rescuing someone for dehydration. Please be sure to take plenty of water. We heard that there is a second trail-head if you continue down the dirt road toward the power plant. This trail is approximately 2.5 miles each way and easier but we have not tried it. This trail is very pretty, revealing some excellent views of lush valleys and rocky outcroppings. Well worth the trip.


5/8/2001
0

from the trailhead to the bottom of the canyon is closer to 4 miles rather than 2.5, the views were fantastic only to be out done by the spring itself. the swimming hole is the cleanest i've been to in the state and is the perfect temp. i would recomend planning to spend a couple of hours or more at the spring. the hike back was as hard as i expected and was not the best trail choice this early into the season as i'm not as thin as i could be nor in as good of shape as i should be. still it was well worth the effort,it's a beautiful area not to be missed. enjoy, steve



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May 2018