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Flume Trail, AZ

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343 53 8
Guide 53 Triplogs  8 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Camp Verde > Verde S
Rated
3.5
3.5 of 5 by 21
 
16
Statistics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 8.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,860 feet
Elevation Gain 590 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,180 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 - 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 14
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
Inaugural Calculation next Tap
4  2018-05-26
Go John via Apache Wash TH
RowdyandMe
4  2018-04-08 Eartheist
12  2018-03-17
Fossil Springs Loop
The_Eagle
35  2016-04-05
Fossil Springs Trail #18 - Fossil Creek
rtaylor3235
11  2015-06-22
Fossil Springs Loop
johnlp
14  2015-06-22
Fossil Springs Loop
trekkin_gecko
12  2015-06-04
Fossil Springs Trail #18 - Fossil Creek
friendofThunderg
7  2015-04-11
Fossil Springs Trail #18 - Fossil Creek
sbkelley
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
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Preferred   Apr, May, Sep, Oct → 9 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  7:01am - 5:22pm
openimportsetbegin
Route Scout App
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Official Route
 
7 Linked
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Waterfall Trail - Fossil Creek
Waterfall Trail - Fossil Creek
0.1 mi away
2.2 mi
210 ft
Fossil Springs Trail #18 - Fossil Creek
Fossil Springs Trail #18 - Fossil Creek
2.5 mi away
8.8 mi
1,785 ft
Fossil Creek - Mazatzal Wilderness Area
Fossil Creek - Mazatzal Wilderness Area
3.2 mi away
12.0 mi
820 ft
Deadman Mesa Trail #17
Deadman Mesa Trail #17
3.4 mi away
5.6 mi
665 ft
Cane Springs Mountain
4.2 mi away
Verde River #11 - Twin Buttes to River
Verde River #11 - Twin Buttes to River
4.2 mi away
21.6 mi
3,373 ft
Towel Creek Trail #67
Towel Creek Trail #67
4.8 mi away
9.0 mi
953 ft
Mail Trail #84
Mail Trail #84
5.8 mi away
8.0 mi
282 ft
Nash Point
Nash Point
5.8 mi away
5.2 mi
650 ft
Verde Hot Springs
Verde Hot Springs
6.2 mi away
3.2 mi
300 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Culture Nearby
Only in Arizona
by joebartels

Note
The flume has been removed. The following description remains for historical viewing.

Permit
April 1st to Oct 1st. Info in directions.

Overview
Three trails access Fossil Springs. The Mail Trail heads down three miles from the General Crook Trail. The Fossil Springs Trail is a four mile venture from FR708. Described here is the Flume Trail. This historic flume built back in 1916 channels water to the Irving Power Plant and further on down to the Childs Power Plant. Nearly 85% of this route follows a service road, so wilderness die-hards need not apply.


The drive to the trailhead from either Camp Verde or Strawberry is very scenic. Though seemingly remote, this area sees lots of visitors. Which in turn translates into lots of litter. Do your part and keep the place clean. I'm sure the boy scouts are sick of picking up trash. Which reminds me... In 1998 I was following Fossil Creek up stream here when I came across two boy scouts. They obviously weren't practicing an honored scout activity when I surprised them. In fact I've had several odd encounters within ten miles of here in the past. Anyhow... the mineralized creek has some cool little areas worthy of exploring.

Flume Trail
From the trailhead follow the trail left of the trailhead signage. Fossil Creek is reached immediately. According to "Sedona Hikes" it's a tough task crossing the creek. My experience thus far on numerous trips has been an easy skip and jump across some rocks. I'm sure after a rain or during spring runoff the conditions could be severe.

The trail immediately zips up the other side of the creek. The Mountaineers "100 Hikes in Arizona" suggest scrambling up the dried up mineral deposit cascade if you can't find the trail. Heck, the trail is a few yards away to the left and much easier. I mention this only because years ago I took this option and it was hell. Next you pass through a gate. This all happens real quick so if you have been hiking for over ten minutes you're definitely in the wrong area. Okay... As long as you're on track it's a no brainer here on. It's a steep 360 foot ascent to the service road which follows the historic flume. The only possible trail direction question comes near a pipe in the ground where the trail forks. Take the left fork.

Once on the service road go right. Just before topping out on the service road is a trail register. The flume isn't in view just yet. Look at this photo again, you can see a little building on the hill. Coming down from the building area is what I believe to be the same dried up mineral cascade as below. Only there's a trickle up here. Here's my theory... (e-mail me with corrections as needed) The flume some how converts the water into a pipe near the little building. The overspray or runoff shoots down the cascade. The pipe heads straight down underground and across the slope to the Irving Power Plant below. The pipe back near the fork is some sort of check point or tester, cause I've never seen a wilderness fire hydrant.

Coming around the first corner of the road you get a glimpse of the flume high above. Check out the sweeping views up and down the canyon. Before you know it the flume is beside you. Signs remind you to keep off the flume anywhere access is possible. There's really no need to be climbing on it anyhow. The trail goes directly over it in a short distance. Here you can peek inside and see the running water. I was amazed how quickly it moves so quietly. Fossil Springs further down the trail pumps out 275 gallons of water per second. The water is mineralized and a constant 72 degrees. I have yet to hike all the way to the springs in several trips. Somehow I always forget this area until summer. This trip I turned around at about 1.5 miles before the heat seemed a nuisance. There are some cool views of the flume even in the short distance I went.

This might be a good March or November date hike. It's a nice scenic drive all the way from Phoenix. You have the mini adventure across the creek and up the hill to the flume road. Followed by some ooohs and aaahs checking out the flume. Then you have six miles out and back of easy scenic strolling perfect for chattin'. Keep in mind you'd both need to be somewhat into hiking. Cause 7.4 miles can be brutal on a beginner, especially without shade.

Camping Regulations
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joebartels
  • Fossil Permit Area
    area related
    Fossil Permit Area
  • map
    area related
  • book
    area related

Tonto FS Reports The Flume Trail on Fossil Creek starts at the old Arizona Public Service Irving Power Plant location and follows the line of the since-removed flume that carried the water from the dam to the power plants for generating electricity. The trail follows the old APS flume access road along the canyon hillside and ends at the old dam, a five mile trek one way. The trailhead is located on Forest Road 708 just north-east of the Fossil Creek Bridge. It shares a parking lot with the Irving swimming hole. Visitors must cross the creek at the low water crossing and follow the path through the old residential area.
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 / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

To hike
From Phoenix head north on I-17 exit on 287 and head east on SR 260. Pass through Camp Verde and continue on just past mile marker 228 to the somewhat signed turnoff to the right onto FR 708. Follow FR 708 13.7 beautiful but bumpy & sometimes scary miles to the junction with FR 502. Continue on the left fork and stay on FR 708 for 2.6 miles passing the Irving Power plant. A large parking area is on the left side of the road. It's a three hour drive from Phoenix.

From Strawberry Arizona.... Take FR708 just under ten miles to the parking area. FR708 takes off from the only real intersection in town. It passes some homes and the old school in the beginning... I think, it's been years... It's definitely not hard to figure out.
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