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The Best Hikes in Fossil Springs Wilderness

401 Triplog Reviews in the Fossil Springs Wilderness
Most recent of 194 deeper Triplog Reviews
8.75 mi • 1,785 ft aeg
We hiked this trail yesterday for the first time. I cannot imagine doing it in the summer. What a killer uphill! The views were nice and of course fossil creek is amazing. It was neat to see the springs and the dam. There was still a bit of snow on the trail and a few muddy spots. The parking lot was packed, but it didn't feel overly crowded. A few people were swimming. It was a bit too cold for me. I'd like to swim into that cave though. Maybe I'll try the flume trail next time.
4.56 mi • 163 ft aeg
Six of us did a short overnight backpack into Fossil Creek and it was glorious. While camping is not allowed between April 1 and September 30, it is allowed all other times (no permit required). We got lucky with a fairly warm weekend in mid November (which was good because camp fires aren’t allowed at any time).

We were the only backpackers down there except for a trail maintenance crew that were diligently working on improvements to the lower half of the trail. We camped just a little beyond the first stream bed crossing, a few hundred feet from the raging springs that feed Fossil Creek. From the campsite, it was just a short 1 mile RT day hike to see the awesome Fossil Creek dam.

The hike in is a breeze as it’s all downhill and pretty gentle at that. Hiking out the 1500 vertical feet was a bit of a bear with full packs, but we still were able to cover the 4+ miles in about 2 hours. Keep in mind it was a cool November day. Your mileage may vary.

Overall, it was a nice, short overnighter into one of the most gorgeous creeks in Arizona. 4 stars.

Foliage
Some nice fall colors down in the canyon bottom.
8.75 mi • 1,785 ft aeg
the girls wanted to see fossil springs!

we checked out the spring first, then headed over to the dam. spent a good long while there. had lunch and took a bunch of pictures. i decided to go for it and jumped in. sierra was inspired and soon followed suit, so we took a bit longer to jump in a bunch of times and swim. it was cold but not horrible. the weather was absolutely perfect anyway. we had the place to ourselves the whole time

the girls were a little concerned about the hike out, but it turned out to be nothing. they were almost surprised when it was over.

just a wonderful day all around :y:
9.17 mi • 1,437 ft aeg
Fossil Springs trail on a Monday.. We had our permit for the "8 mile hike"... however, if you go to the waterfall/dam/toilet bowl, it's and extra mile or so. The springs were flowing and beautiful, but we spent all of our down time at the waterfall area. Since we arrived at the parking lot at 8:30am.. we were the first one's down here and had the place to ourselves, which was a treat. We were in the water and swimming a bit (temperature outside and in the water was perfect). On the way back to the lot we passed many people coming down for the day... have to guess they arrived at the lot around 1030/11.... mostly teenagers and young adults -- sorry we missed them at the falls.. they may have been daring enough to jump off of the dam.
8.57 mi • 1,753 ft aeg
We drove from Mesa, arrived at the TH at about 9:35am. It was the perfect day for a visit to Fossil Springs and then down to the waterfall and toilet bowl. We obtained our permit and parking pass ahead of time and there was a ranger at the very beginning of the road to check that all things were in order. I hadn't been down to Fossil Creek in several years - last time was in my car! The TH is only about 2 miles after leaving the pavement and there appears to be parking for about 20-25 vehicles. The trail is well marked. The only confusion was that all of the signs at the TH state that "this trail does not go to the waterfall". Well, we had hoped to go to both the spring and the waterfall so we just hoped for the best when we got down there. We descended in about an hour & half, trail is rocky in some places and so we were careful not to slip. We arrived at the bottom and the trail crosses the dry creek bed at one point, just look for a wooden sign hanging from a tree on the other side and you'll know where to go. Soon you get to a fork in the trail that is going down the north side of the creek bed - that sign points you to the spring. It is a short walk to the spring and it is worth seeing - there's a good flow of water coming right up from the ground - although when you get further down the creek you wonder how could that amount of water soon turn into much more water??!! We back-tracked from the Spring back to the trail and took the route that is marked by another trail sign that says "To Dam". From there, it is only about a half mile to the waterfall and toilet bowl. What a magnificent sight and location!! And, we had it all to ourselves which is amazing - not a soul there (although we encountered 5 hikers ascending while we were descending). We swam (water was cool, but not really take-your-breath-away cold) and relaxed for about an hour, then started back up. On the way up we passed 15 or so more people going down - one playing rather loud annoying music - glad we weren't going to be needing to share the serenity of the creek with that background music! We climbed steadily and made it out in about the same time it took to descend - an hour and a half. All the way up my daughter and I were commenting about how much we LOVE Arizona. We live in the best state!! A comment to all hikers and campers (if allowed) who've done this trail - thank you to all - it is so clean down there, I didn't see any trash. Pats on the back! :app:
16.85 mi • 1,785 ft aeg
Hiked in on the Fossil Springs Trail and were the first people at the dam. Hung out for a few minutes before heading up and back down the Flume Trail to the other side. Flume Trail was very exposed and a little harder than I was expecting. Soaked our feet in Fossil Creek and found a javelina(?) skull before we left to head back. Luckily it was partially overcast, so the heat was more tolerable on the way. We were happy to be able to refill our water at the springs before heading out.
11.92 mi • 1,754 ft aeg
I am really liking the new pass program to access FC. There were no crowds and a lot less trash. The warmth of the day helped cut the coldness of the water. Other than the nibbling fish, very relaxing. Saw a crew severely under prepared about a mile in on the flume trail. I hope they turned around. Will be making a trip out here again this season with the kids.

Wildflowers
We saw two away from the water. Very dry season outside of the canyon.
2.8 mi • 210 ft aeg
I haven't been to Fossil Springs in ~4 years, so I was excited to go back and show my mom some beautiful waterfalls and translucent aqua water. I know Fossil Springs is a little basic in the summer, but you cannot deny its beauty. As we were hiking, I realized I had actually never been to this part of Fossil Springs. I had hiked in from the other side (the 8-mile RT hike down the canyon to the "toilet bowl"), so this ended up being a new hike for me too! We, again, had absolutely perfect weather: sunny skies, mid-50s to low 60s. The water was surprisingly warm enough to take a little dip and I couldn't resist the chance to try out my new swimsuit. :) We only saw a couple other people on the trail, but I'm sure it will be swarming in another month or two.
14.02 mi • 2,596 ft aeg
Fossil Springs Loop
Up in Pine with one of my sons for the weekend. He'd never been to Fossil Springs before and this one fit the bill perfectly.

We got this in before the permit system starts again on April 1st.

It was cool enough to keep the crowds down, not not cold enough to keep people from swimming. There was even a guy that was just finishing up in a wet suit and an air tank at the waterfall off the Waterfall Trail.

Beautiful clear skies with puffy Fraley's. We hiked the CCW route, opting for the steady climb to finish.

The Dam Waterfall Area
[ youtube video ]

Slow Motion Waterfall off the Waterfall Trail
[ youtube video ]


15.75 mi • 1,193 ft aeg
I parked just off highway 260 but should have gone a short distance farther to the trailhead. That would have saved me maybe 200 yards of walking.

There were three geocaches I wanted to find today. Two are on the Mail Trail and the third was SW down the power line road so after I found the second, I turned off the Mail Trail and headed down the power line road. The power line road was about halfway out for me.

On the Mail Trail, I tried to follow the cairns as best I could but at times I had trouble spotting the next so I fell back to checking the track on my GPSr. There really is no tread, though at times there are game or cattle trails to follow. The ground was rocky and soft dirt. It would be a nightmare to walk on if it is wet so avoid it during those conditions. Navigation was a bit easier on my return as I was able to follow my own tracks to some extent.

Once I turned on the power line road, I was able to keep a good pace. It's a rocky road and parts would be troublesome to drive, but walking was steady and fast.

It was brisk when I started and breezy most of the day. All in all, good conditions for a long walk.

I saw three elk, followed by two more. I'm sure there were others hidden in the Junipers that I missed.

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