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Fossil Springs

Fossil Creek is a beautiful riparian area northwest of Payson. There are lots of old growth cottonwood trees, sycamore trees and a perennial stream with great swimming holes to enjoy!

Join me on a 7 mile round trip backpack trip to Fossil Creek.Fossil Creek is a beautiful riparian area northwest of Payson. There are lots of old growth cottonwood trees, sycamore trees and a perennial stream with great swimming holes to enjoy!

Brief Itinerary: Meet at the Fort McDowell Casino parking Saturday 7:00 a.m.  We should be at the trailhead around 8:30 to start our hike down. Then we will hang out at the swimming holes enjoying the cool water, have a leisurely lunch, hang out and play in the water again, camp for the night.  Sunday we hike out.


Trailhead Elevation: 5,600 ft.Elevation at Springs: 4,320 ft.

Elevation Change: 1,280 ft.

Nearest Town: Strawberry, AZ

Length: 7 miles round trip

Rating: MODERATE(due to elevation change)


Directions to Fossil Springs from the East Valley Take Highway 87 towards Payson. You'll pass Payson, Pine, and then you'll come to Strawberry. At Strawberry take a left on Fossil Creek Road. Stay on Fossil Creek Road for about 5 miles. The first 2 miles or so is paved; the next 3 miles will be on a well-maintained dirt road that any car can drive on. After about 5 miles on Fossil Creek Road you'll see a turnoff that leads to a parking lot on the right side. That's where you begin.


Directions to Fossil Springs from the West Valley Take I-17 towards Camp Verde to Highway 260. Go east on 260 about 34 miles till you get to 87. Go south a few miles to Strawberry and make a right on Fossil Creek Road-then follow directions above for Fossil Creek Road. Carpool location: Will be arranged as needed As always hydrate well prior, bring lots of water, sunscreen, and a hat. Will need to treat water from Creek.





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  • Jay P.

    Thank you Ivanka for a wonderful dinner and fantastic trip!

    September 29, 2013

    • Ivanka

      Thank you for the lunch! Was delicious :-)

      1 · October 1, 2013

  • Ivanka

    What a wonderful weekend, great people and beautiful nature! Was fun exploring the caves, swimming and diving! Thank you Phred for driving. Jay welcome to ABC! Was pleasure backpacking with all of you!

    1 · September 29, 2013

  • Jay P.

    I'm by Wolf-D3 sign.

    September 28, 2013

  • Carri

    There's a group going in on Sunday for just a day hike-so I am going to go with them-thank you though Ivanka though for the invite - If you want any more info about rappelling just give me a call or email me.

    September 26, 2013

  • Carri

    Could I possibly just come for the day? Never been and would like to follow you in.

    September 23, 2013

  • Hylari

    The way via strawberry is closed. Have to go via camp verde.

    September 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    would this be a bad trip for a first trip in Arizona? we recently relocated from alaska and are looking for things to do for fun. also not very familiar with what gear is necessary in Arizona would you be able to direct me to a good "list" of items needed so I can make sure we are well equipped?

    September 18, 2013

  • Jay P.

    Just the trip I need...no chance of getting on?

    September 12, 2013

    • Jay P.

      Woo hoo I can't wait!!!! Thank you

      September 16, 2013

3 went

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