The difficulty rating is for "in-season"
Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov
Named for the many vines in the canyon. Nothing monumental, rather an intriguing value the canyon holds. Several non technical down climbs are required to negotiate top to bottom. The balance of the loop visits an Arizona waterpark and seemingly history lost to nearby allure.
This is neither a quick route to fossil nor a wise choice for inexperienced off trail explorers.
Pick Your Poison
We elected CCW, which descends Vine Canyon first. This allows time and distance management of known territory. If you are unfamiliar with the area I would not recommend this period. CCW is the ticket for stubborn self sufficient. CW offers the best shade ascending. On the same token that security blanket might turn evil if you encounter mishap later in the hike.
With a loaded route or old school navigation skills ease down into Vine Canyon. Forgiving manzanita through the pines eventually gives to maples. Mountain Mahogany and oaks are lightly in the mix. Poison ivy isn't thick but it's healthier than creekside cousins. Like the vines it is nourished by the abundant nearby moisture and shade. Catclaw chimes in further down but is barely worth mentioning to anyone that has gone to battle on lower elevation chaparral nightmares.
Easily deciphered rock obstacles in the upper and mid draw through cream limestone and orange coconino give way to red supai curves. The steep descent rewards you with nice colored cliffs looking up. Sedona esque with nicer pines.
This cultivating environment sports illegal irrigation activity. The canyon probably has eyes. If you read this far with high hopes of a secret route to fossil you will undoubtedly fair no better than beating your chest on a stroll through East Los Angeles. Beware of bears touring the hood too.
Since you've entered disneyland, hit a couple rides and tour the fringe. The beginning of the river-volume springs of Fossil Creek are only a mile round trip off the true loop. Fossil Creek Dam is just under 2 miles RT. Both worth a gander if not the highlight for most.
At some point you gotta leave the alluring clear waterpark. The twist is utilizing a remarkably unnamed trail straight back up. Which our hero The_Eagle has dubbed Nash Pasture Trail.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
This is a moderately difficult hike.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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.