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Bob Bear Trail #18 - Fossil Creek
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mini location map2008-05-17
5 by photographer avatarheilostar
photographer avatar
 
Bob Bear Trail #18 - Fossil CreekCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar May 17 2008
heilostar
Hiking8.75 Miles 1,785 AEG
Hiking8.75 Miles
1,785 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We did this hike as a an overnight weekend trip. The trailhead is fairly well marked.
From Payson go north on 87 Strawberry. Basically you head out west from Strawberry, AZ on Fossil Springs Road. The trailhead is marked on the right side of the road. The trail is fairly wide and heads down into the canyon to Fossil Springs. We started out in the evening at about 6 PM, which was a great time since there was still light but it was not too hot. There are many little places to camp on the way down the hill into the canyon if it were to get dark. Plenty of spaces for larger groups as well. When you pass the horse gate, you know you're close. You bear left at the sign that says "Fossil Springs". The other route option would be to go right on the "Mail Trail". Keep heading into the forest and there are more campsites to pull off for the night. We camped up on an embankment above a flowing spring so there was nice water noises all night (although the frogs were a little loud... it seems to be mating season in May and there are tons of tadpoles to prove it). The nice thing about the hike was that there was plenty of great springs coming right out of the ground to get fresh water if needed. Continuing downstream there is a small swimming hole with rope swing. Continuing past a group campsite (right through the site), you can continue on the uphill side and leave the river for awhile and continue to the decommissioned dam. The dam area (flume trail) is closed downstream, but there seemed to be plenty of people playing in the stream just above the area that was marked closed.

We spent a couple hours playing in the swimming holes, using the preexisting ropes and rope swings.
The trip down is 4 miles and the trip back uphill is 4 miles. We did the four miles downhill in an hour, but headed back the next day in mid-day so took about 2 hours. The weekend we chose to go was apparently a boyscout weekend where every troop from Phoenix there. Other than the lot of kids, it was a nice hike with a reward of many rope swings and swimming holes at the bottom. The boyscouts came in at night even later than we did (one boy said he didn't get down to the bottom until 11:30 PM. Apparently, it was pretty safe considering the trail is so well maintained. Even though there were so many people, there was relatively little trash. Not quite like the area off the main forest road above where all the cooler draggers hang out and drink/party all day. A perfect getaway from the summer heat.
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  2008-05-17
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