Fossil Creek Waterfall Trail

EASY 50 reviews
#17 of 167 trails in

Fossil Creek Waterfall Trail is a 2.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Camp Verde, Arizona that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
203 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

hiking
22 days ago

We did this drive, more so than a hike, yesterday Nov. 24, 2017 and came from Mesa. The map will take you through Strawberry. You need to go closer to Camp Verde (depending on where you’re coming from) turn on Fossil Creek Rd and drive the 14 miles of the bumpy dirt road until the last parking lot. Then a 25 min walk to the big waterfall. Along the way you can stop and swing from the ropes and there are less crowded swimming areas. At the waterfall you can jump off into the icy crystal clear waters. It’s beautiful! My 6 year old an I climb up to the waterfall and jumped into a little pool before the waterfall. It’s a small jump and something she wanted to do. Very crowded and make sure you bring your gopro and snacks! Better yet, make sure your car can handle the road!

hiking
28 days ago

1 month ago

lovely ill hike. get there early to get a parking spot. water is crystal clear.

1 month ago

The key is to do the hike early in the morning (right when the parking is open) before it gets busy. Enjoyed about two hours of relative peace before the crowds started to show. I plan on going back next summer...early in the morning.

hiking
1 month ago

despite the trash and slew of teens with ice chests full of beer I thought this was a great hike. I did it with my 3 year old daughter and 67 year old dad. everyone had a great time. there are plenty of places to hang out on the river away from the craziness the teens and drinking brings.
I hiked this before the permit system, so the situation under the permit system may be different.

hiking
1 month ago

Hey folks, this shows 2.4 miles, but other sites are saying there's an eight mile trial (#18, but his says #18 too). Does anyone know anything about that one? Thanks in advance.

1 month ago

Drove my Kia Forte down the long dirt road and messed up my breaks and power steering but the hike was easy and the waterfall was amazing for Arizona.

hiking
1 month ago

The hike is worth it all once you reach the big waterfall. there is 2 or 3 smaller water falls but you will know when you reach the big one. I drove my 2013 Nissan Altima through the 19 mile dirt road and I do not recommend taking a sedan through it. But I made in and out in good condition.

2 months ago

Such a beautiful trail and very rewarding. I would not call this an easy hike as the way back up is tough. Make sure to bring more water than you will think you'll need. Be very safe swimming in the gorgeous falls, there have been many terrible endings. Overall an amazing hike with so many beautiful views! One of my favorites!

2 months ago

You can find beauty in every stop on this trail. We took our time on the way down to stop and take in the views. We swam for a couple of hours in the waterfall- cave area. The water is unbelievably clear and turquoise. You can see 20 ft down. The hike back up is strenuous... take LOTS of water and snacks. When we left, the park ranger told us not to go in the toilet bowl... please listen. There was a drowning when we got down there. There's no easy rescue on this trail- it was amazing though and totally worth the 8 mile hike! Amazing photo opportunities and just all around breathtaking. Can't wait to go back.

hiking
2 months ago

Fun hike. Didn't swim but swimming holes looked amazing, super clear water. Somewhat crowded by the big fall but the smaller falls are almost as nice and much less crowded 14 mile dirt road is a little rough but worth the drive.

hiking
2 months ago

beautiful!

hiking
2 months ago

My husband an I did this hike at the end of August, it was a easy uphill hike on a dirt paved road, slight slope, we parked at "Tonto Bench" which added another 3/4 of a mile to the trail to the water falls. It is a very beautiful place to hike, and the cherry on top of the hike is the waterfall. Pack out what you pack in, and it can get crowded, but everyone that was around was very kind and respectful to one another.

hiking
3 months ago

Always a great summer hike! Not as good as the hike to the actual spring and old dam falls, but saves you that hike.

3 months ago

there are 3 different options for this hike, all of which now require a permit for day use. I'm not normally a fan of this, however seeing what the park is trying to preserve well worth it! Please just try to plan ahead. hikes very in length based on where you park and what you want to see

camping
3 months ago

I personally think this route is better and more rewarding than going through Strawberry. You can also camp in Camp Verde near the water. It's nice to drive in, find your camping spot hang out by the water and then wake up ready to trek to the waterfall. Worth getting a permit for overnight!!

hiking
4 months ago

Absolutely Gorgeous!! The waterfall is a great place to swim. We even stopped at each little swimming hole and swam. The hike is only about a mile and easy. The road in is bumpy but well worth it. Although we saw cars do the 14mile mountain road it would probably be better if you were in a SUV or truck.

hiking
4 months ago

The drive down to the parking area is breathtaking. The hike is short back to the falls. It is so beautiful and the water color is mesmerizing. Bring your swim suit! Swimming under the fall is an amazing experience! My 3 year old handled the hike really well

hiking
5 months ago

It was so hot out and our first time hiking that trail, definitely getting a closer parking spot next time and going when it cools down a little. The creek is amazing when you get there almost makes it worth it!

5 months ago

Easy trail with spots to cool off on the way to the waterfall.

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