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Fossil Creek - Mazatzal Wilderness Area, AZ

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451 35 15
Guide 35 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Camp Verde > Verde S
Rated
4.3
4.3 of 5 by 16
 
17
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
Canyoneering
Consensus
View 2
Grade1
WaterB
Risk
TimeIII
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 12 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,371 feet
Elevation Gain 820 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 10 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 16.1
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
15  2017-11-19
Stehr to Childs via Fossil-Verde
chumley
7  2017-11-19
Stehr to Childs via Fossil-Verde
MountainMatt
14  2016-04-04 MountainMatt
8  2016-03-30 MountainMatt
11  2015-06-22
Fossil Springs Loop
johnlp
14  2015-06-22
Fossil Springs Loop
trekkin_gecko
42  2015-05-08 Fatesjoke
22  2014-08-30
Twin Buttes to Fossil Creek
friendofThunderg
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Expand Map
Preferred   May, Jun, Jul, Sep → 7 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  7:32am - 5:42pm
Route
 
6 Alternative
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Deadman Mesa Trail #17
Deadman Mesa Trail #17
1.3 mi away
5.6 mi
665 ft
Verde Hot Springs
Verde Hot Springs
3.1 mi away
3.2 mi
300 ft
Flume Trail
Flume Trail
3.2 mi away
8.1 mi
1,180 ft
Waterfall Trail - Fossil Creek
Waterfall Trail - Fossil Creek
3.3 mi away
2.2 mi
210 ft
Ike
Ike's Backbone to Fossil Creek
3.5 mi away
2.6 mi
1,379 ft
Towel Creek Trail #67
Towel Creek Trail #67
4.1 mi away
9.0 mi
953 ft
Cane Springs Mountain
5.4 mi away
Verde River #11 - Twin Buttes to River
Verde River #11 - Twin Buttes to River
5.4 mi away
21.6 mi
3,373 ft
Fossil Springs Trail #18 - Fossil Creek
Fossil Springs Trail #18 - Fossil Creek
5.5 mi away
8.8 mi
1,785 ft
Towel Creek Ruins - West Access
Towel Creek Ruins - West Access
7.7 mi away
6.1 mi
712 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
The New Fossil Creek!
by TM1ssKDMac

Area
This description covers the lower and less traveled (But no less enchanting!) portion of Fossil Creek, downstream of the Fossil Creek Wilderness Area from the point where the creek enters the Mazatzal Wilderness Area, through to its confluence with the Verde River.


Permit
May 1st to Oct 1st, view permit info.

Overview
This is a relatively easy hike through a very scenic canyon. Campsites are numerous and swimming holes abound. This makes the creek a great place for a day trip or 3 day weekend, it's up to you. This is a great place to enjoy a little dose of Mother Nature and a nice dip in the wonderful waters of Fossil Creek. I will caution that due to the nature of the canyon you must cross the creek from time to time and you will get wet. Also of note is the fact that for the most part there is no trail. You must do your own route finding as you simply follow the creek on your adventure. Footing is really excellent in the stream due to the heavy deposits of Calcium Chloride deposited on everything that the creek water touches.

Hike
There are several spots near the creek where you can park just off of the Childs Power Plant Road just before it starts climbing the hill up to where Stehr Lake used to be. (It was part of the flume system that directed water to the Childs Power Plant and with the decommissioning of the power plant and the removal of the flume, the lake has dried up) Approximate GPS coordinates for the area to park at are: 34.380950, -111.659347. This is right at the edge of the Mazatzal Wilderness boundary.

From the parking areas simply proceed downstream along the creek. You will immediately enter the Mazatzal Wilderness Area. There is a trail for the first several hundred yards but it soon disappears once you get beyond the range of the day trippers and cooler draggers. From the parking area the creek winds through the canyon for right at 6 miles to it's confluence with the Verde River. At this point you have 2 options. You can return upstream along Fossil Creek to your vehicle or this would be a nice shuttle hike if you turn right and head upstream along the Verde for about 3.5 miles to the campgrounds at Childs. The route could also be reversed. GPS location for the confluence of the Verde River and Fossil Creek is: 34.30598, -111.67536. Childs Campground: 34.347588, -111.696980.

TM1ssKDMac
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    $6 per car, 148 spaces available.

    Apr 1st thru Oct 1st

    Fossil Permit Link.


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To canyon trip
    From Camp Verde: Drive East on US 260 towards Payson. From the bridge over the Verde River in Camp Verde drive east 6.75 miles to the turnoff for Fossil Creek Road. This is a gravel road that will be on your right as you approach it. GPS location for this intersection is: 34.505295, -111.759984.

    Follow Fossil Creek Road for 13.5 miles to it's junction with Childs Power Plant Road at 34.394109, -111.650087. Turn right onto Childs Power Plant Road and drive about 1.25 miles to the Parking areas mentioned above.

    From Strawberry: At the intersection of US 87 and Fossil Creek Road at 34.407691, -111.492524. Drive west on Fossil Creek Road for 12.1 miles to the intersection of Fossil Creek Road and Childs Power Plant Road at 34.394109, -111.650087. Bear left at this junction and continue for 1.25 miles to the parking area noted above.
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