Fossil Springs Trail is a 8.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pine, Arizona that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
A permit is required to hike here from May 1 through September 30.
Great hike. The springs area is an oasis for sure. The trail can be hot depending on the time of year though. Be prepared. Fairly steep climbing out too. An amazing amount of fresh water pouring out of the ground right there. Not something you expect in AZ!!
Pack extra stuff.
Thick hiking boots.
Bird watching paradise.
Please be careful.
Great Hike. Ignore the signs that your not on the right trail for the waterfall. Continue down the river about half a mile to witness that falls. Great spot to catch a break and take a swim. The hike back is mainly uphill and takes sometime. We went during mid winter and the trail to drive up to was pretty difficult for my 4x4. I suggest starting the trail at the beginning of the gate during winter.
Awesome ! Must hike early in the summer ✌
Did this hike to the waterfall 3 months ago. It's a long strenuous hike, but the water at the bottom makes it well worth the trip. There's even a partially hidden spot to swim just past the falls, inside a little cave. It's beautiful. Take note of the "Don't be a statistic" signs, and be prepared with lots of water and decent hiking shoes. We drank about a gallon of water each.
Great but difficult hike. Hiking down is simple. Drank no water on the way down. The hike back up is strenuous. Recorded 10 miles round trip. And contrary to all the signs, it does lead to the waterfall and actually connects to flume trail.
The hike was an easy 10 miles, only 1000 or so feet elevation gain so even inexperienced hikers could make the trip! We decided to see both waterfalls in one day and this involved some bushwacking. We camped near the hot springs in child's and this was the perfect way to ease our muscles after a long day of hiking.
THIS TRAIL LEADS TO THE DAM NOT THE WATERFALL.The trail listed above leads to the dam/toilet bowl (seen in most of the pictures). To access the waterfall it's best to go through Camp Verde you can park right next to it and then hike a couple miles down to the dam as well. You will see the signs for this trail say "no waterfall access". If you get to the dam you can hike a few more miles to the waterfall but they do not recommend it because it's a very tiring trail, people are often hiking in high heat weather & they are doing rescues daily. Hope this helps (look up the trail map and you'll see the trail that leads to the DAM and the trail that leads to the WATERFALL).
About this trail to the dam.. trail is great, it's scenic and well maintained. It's easy going down, the difficult part is the climb out due to the uphill climb. It astonishes me the mount of injuries, it's not that difficult (in terms of injury) if you're prepared with water and proper shoes. I went in October (mid 80 degree day) and had 3L of water, I was conservative with it and ran out just at the end. I wouldn't go with any less. It's a long trail with switchbacks, be smart and only take what fits in your pack... otherwise go in through camp verde and stick to under a couple miles.
Make sure you find the hidden cove under the waterfall to the left looking at it from the front. Bring diving goggles, the water is crystal clear full of fish. I brought only one camelback full of water the first time and ran out. Make sure to bring plenty of liquids.
Easy grade/terrain, nothing too steep. Don't miss the falls and toilet bowl paste the springs, the trail splits just before the springs, there is a sign and if you go right for about 1/4 miles you will arrive at the falls!! Just past the springs is also a good swimming area with calmer water and flat rocks to relax at.
A toughie on the way out but otherwise absolutely worth it. Get there early and have the place to yourself before others flood in.