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Fossil Creek Falls

posted Apr 25, 2019, 3:58 PM by Justin P   [ updated Jun 21, 2019, 4:09 PM ]
Thursday, we checked out of the hotel and headed north.  Near Camp Verde, we got on the rough FR-708 towards Fossil Creek.  It was almost an hour drive on this long and bumpy gravel road to reach the creek.  We stopped a couple times to see some of the beautiful wildflowers blooming along the road.


Overall, the road wasn't that bad - we parked at the end at the Waterfall Trailhead parking.  The Waterfall Trail started just a little ways up the closed section of the road.  More wildflowers were blooming along the trail.


It was about a mile to the waterfall, but we stopped quite a few times.  Fossil Creek itself is really pretty and there were some nice cascades along the trail.


High levels of calcium carbonate in the water make travertine dams along the creek.


Soon we came to Fossil Creek Waterfall.


When we arrived, nobody else was here.  I got some pictures and then tested the water.


It was cold, but such a beautiful color of turquoise.  So I braved the cold water and took a dip. It was chilly so I didn't stay in long, but very refreshing.


I got out and realized I had forgotten to bring a towel.  But the air is so dry in Arizona, I didn't need it and dried off in just a couple minutes.  As I got out of the water, more people started showing up so we didn't stay much longer.   Heading out, we spotted a western fence lizard sunning himself on a rock.


A little further, there were a whole bunch of chub swimming in a shallow pool below a cascade.


Fossil Creek is certainly one of the prettiest creeks I've seen.


Leaving the Fossil Creek area, we headed back to Payson and drove to the Water Wheel Recreation Area.   The area is named for the historical water wheel that has been moved from the river.


An unofficial trail leads along East Verde River.


There were some scenic little drops along the river, which flowed through a very rocky gorge.


We continued up from the confluence with Ellison Creek, but there wasn't much up here and it headed back towards the road.  So we crossed at the confluence and followed Ellison Creek upstream.


Not much of a trail, but it was easy to follow.  The trail ends at Ellison Creek Cascades.


It was a scenic little waterfall and a couple people were swimming.


The water was cold here again and I decided not to take another dip.  After some pictures, we headed back.  Then we drove south past Roosevelt Lake to the Roosevelt Resort Park.  After checking in to the hotel, we had dinner at the restaurant.  There was a beautiful sunset from the back porch.


But we couldn't stay up too late as we had a big day tomorrow.