Fossil Creek

Fossil Creek is a National Wild and Scenic River located in Tonto and Coconino National Forests in Gila, Coconino, and Yavapai Counties.  The creek is formed by Fossil Springs on the Mogollon Rim that emits 20,000 gallons per minute of water that eventually flows into the Verde River.  The spring water contains high concentrations of calcium carbonate that forms travertine dams along the river, forming numerous cascades and waterfalls.  Due to the popularity of the area, the Forest Service has implemented a permit system to keep visitors to a manageable level during the summer months.  A permit must be pre-purchased and printed for display to visit the area between May and October (permit information).



Waterfall Trail:

Waterfall Trail is a 1-mile trail to Fossil Creek Waterfall.  The Waterfall Trailhead parking is the last parking area on Fossil Creek Road (FR-708) before the closure.  The trail starts just up the road past the Road Closed signs and follows the creek upstream to the waterfall.

Points of Interest:

Fossil Creek Waterfall:

Fossil Creek Waterfall is a beautiful falls at the end of the 1-mile Waterfall Trail.  The pool at the base of the falls is a beautiful turquoise color and I took a dip when I visited.  Be careful if you swim as the water is deep and the waterfall creates dangerous hydraulics.  And don't jump in.


Feather indigobush (Dalea formosa)

Desert penstemon (Penstemon pseudospectabilis)

Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

Blog Entries:

18-Apr-2019: Fossil Creek Falls

External Links:

Permits from