Fossil Springs plus optional car camping

NOTICE THE TIME CHANGE!

Posting for Kimberly...

I'm determined to get to Fossil Springs and have been guaranteed by the Forest Service, over the phone, that the road is open to the trailhead from Strawberry (and closed further down).  This is one of the prettiest riparian areas in AZ with abundant water for swimming!  The trail down is wide and easy and mostly desert.  As you descend into the canyon, the vegetation changes to Sycamore and Oak trees, fern grottos, and wild blackberry bushes.  The travertine falls are second-best only to Havasupai, in my opinion.

We'll need to get an early start as they do close the trail at capacity.  Let's meet at Target in Fountain Hills at 7:00 and that should get us to the trailhead by 9:00.  It's an 8.75mi round trip hike with a few hours at the bottom for lunch and fun.  Remember, the way down is easy, but the hike out is ALL uphill in the heat of the day.  We won't be in a rush, but please be prepared.  Dogs are welcome on this hike, but make sure they can withstand the heat.

Optional camp:

I'd love to car camp Saturday night around Payson/Strawberry/Mogollon Rim, but don't know the area well enough to suggest a spot.  If anyone has suggestions, please let me know ASAP and I'll look into it.  

A co-leader for this trip would be welcomed!  Call or text me at [masked]

Directions:

North on AZ-87 (Beeline Hwy) to Payson
thru Payson, Pine and into Strawberry
left on Fossil Creek Rd to trailhead parking
last mile or two on good dirt road, cars should be OK
1.5-2 hours driving time

What to bring:

at least 3L water, water filter if you want to refill
snack/lunch
sunscreen
water shoes/swim suit
hat
trekking pole
beach towel (can wet it and drape over shoulders on the hike out)

if camping...

camping gear
food/bevvies
firewood?
etc, etc(I have a small propane grill)

Should be great!

Kimberly

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  • Kara T.

    Thanks Kimberly, Great group! So fun!

    2 · August 26

  • Cara

    A "5 Star Event" Miss Kimberly! Thanks for organizing and great to meet everyone.

    2 · August 24

  • kimberly w.

    Thanks for the great hike everyone! Let's do another soon! Madeline, yes, the trail head from the Strawberry side is open (closed just past). Parking wasn't a problem at 7:30. I'm not sure about the hot springs, but we went to the falls. Enjoy!

    1 · August 24

  • Madeline K.

    Did you have to go form the Camp Verde side? Is the FIRST trailhead form Fossil Springs Rd. on the STRAWBERRY side open still?? Our local news tells us the whole thing is closed! I would LOVE to make this hike before cold weather sets in!!!!! Did you get down to the hot springs???? please send a reply-- am anxiously awaiting! I can go on weekdays so full parking lot not a problem..

    August 24

  • roberto

    great hike and great to meet everyone!!!

    1 · August 24

  • Tej P.

    Wonderful hike and great company. .thanks everyone.

    1 · August 24

  • Kurt

    Thank you Kim and it was nice to meet everyone. :)

    1 · August 24

  • Santo

    Thanks Kim. That was a great time with great people!

    1 · August 23

  • Melissa

    Thanks for putting this together, Kimberly. It was worth getting up early!

    1 · August 23

  • Crystaline in V.

    Kimberly, i am so sorry, i thought this was next Saturday... i hope this did not cause a problem... again i apologize

    August 23

  • Tej P.

    On my way

    August 23

  • Cara

    Hello Kimberly and gang....Melissa and I will meet you guys at the trail head tomorrow versus the carpool spot, around 7:30am! I'll txt you in the morning so you have my phone #. Looking forward to the hike!!!

    August 22

  • kimberly w.

    Thanks for the heads-up, Kurt! I called the ranger station and he agreed it could be full by 9:00. Let's go EARLIER just to be safe. Notice the time change to 6:00am. We'll do Horton Springs or Christopher Creek if we're still not early enough, but I'm determined! ;)

    1 · August 21

    • Kurt

      Sound Good! See you all at 6am. :)

      August 21

  • Alma

    I won't be able to go after all :-/

    August 21

  • Kurt

    My friends went to Fossil Spring last week and the parking lot was full at 8am, so they try to come in from Camp Verde side and it was full as well. They have to turn around and went on to other hike. I just want to share that info with you and consider making plan B if we get there late. :)

    August 21

  • Melissa B.

    I'll be in Minnesota.

    August 14

  • kimberly w.

    My dad went in and spoke with a ranger and they gave him a closure map and reassured him that the closure is after the trail head. I'm still game! (Though there are no guarantees until we get there) I reserved site Bear 24 at Houston Mesa campground. It was $29 and will hold up to 10 people/3 tents/2 cars. I'll share. Worst case scenario...we'll still have fun!

    2 · August 18

  • kimberly w.

    Post a note if you're camping ASAP please. I'm still taking suggestions for campsites. Roberto suggested Canyon Point, but it's full. Ponderosa, Sharp Creek, and Houston Mesa all have availability. HM might be best since it's only 1 mile from Payson and has showers ;) Everyone will be on their own for making campsite reservations (or team up), but I'll make sure there's availability on Reserve America. Gonna be fun!

    August 14

    • roberto

      I kind of like a shower, after a long hike! I'll split a campsite with anyone willing.

      August 15

    • Melissa

      Cara had I aren't planning to camp (if the trip is still a go).

      August 17

  • Madeline K.

    I live in Pine, and when you turn onto Fossil Creek Rd. at the Strawberry Lodge, there is a sign which advises the trailheads ahead 5 miles are all closed. The whole Fossil Creek Wilderness is under discussion/closed due to overuse and poorly maintained roads. We have not been able to go down to the creek this year at all.

    August 17

  • Brian F.

    Saturday is a work day :(

    August 14

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