Fossil Springs Trail

HARD 303 reviews
#3 of 123 trails in

Fossil Springs Trail is a 8.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pine, Arizona that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. 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.

Distance: 8.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,505 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

A permit is required to drive/hike here from April 1 - October 1. The road is closed west of this trail, so visitors must drive from Strawberry, AZ area. Please note that although dogs are allowed on leash, this may be a difficult journey for them.

hiking
rocky
15 hours ago

A challenging trail, but well worth the effort. Watch your footing! If you break a bone then the only way out is for ranger to trek you out. And that's quite a walk.

hiking
8 days ago

One of my favorite spots!

hiking
14 days ago

closed for the summer. don't bother.

hiking
26 days ago

This is a good hike. Going all the way to the falls is complete descend and the ascend is while returning back to the trail head. This is more of a moderate hike and is not difficult, but could be little strenuous. when you hike 4/5 of the distance you come across a sign saying spring -Left and Dam-right. Please take the trail to the Dam to reach the falls. Swimming was allowed and water is close to 4 to 5 feet depth in most of the places and after a good descend it is very refreshing to spend some time in the water. The hike could be more pleasurable on a cloudy or a windy day.

1 month ago

Great hike. Well worth the effort.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Really enjoyable hike, more moderate than hard but make sure to bring plenty of water and food because it’s the heat and sun exposure that will get to you. Follow the signs to the damn, trail is longer than listed so it seems like you should have been there already but keep going and you’ll hit the falls

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

went June 1st. trail was fun. wasnt hard when you compare it to havasu falls. getting to the springs is about 4.5 miles and another .5 mile to the toilet bowl. if you go just passed the toilet bowl there is another waterfall area you can swim that will have the cave. go even a little further there is yet another small fall and swimming holes. the cave was a blast and very pretty. bring goggle to see the fish. bring lots of water for the hike out. it can be pretty strenuous since it's a steep incline. I saw a dog there but you can tell the dog can handle it. if you have a lap dog or a lazy dog then dont bring them. as far as kids go, I did bring mine. my son is 7 and daughter is 10. this is their first real hike and they did an awesome job. 1.bring a lot of water and tabs to clean the water if u drink the spring water like we did so we didnt have to carry so much in. 2. DO NOT swim in the toilet bowl. a 65 year old man died in it last month. 3. the trail will be closed in July till October. 4. Google Skylar Hayden campground. was free. fun and close to the trail. just wake up and drive 8 minute to the gate. 5. have fun and be safe.

1 month ago

My favorite hike so far. It's gorgeous!

1 month ago

This is incredible hike definitely worth checking out incredibly beautiful part of Arizona. We completed yesterday it was lightly misting torward the end of the day. Still little to cold to swim. I felt like it wasn't that tough of a hike. Though it should still be taken seriously bring enough water and where hikeing shoes. Lots of signs everywhere saying that over 200 people get rescued on this trail every year. Also recommend that you get a permit before going.

hiking
1 month ago

This is an absolutely beautiful hike! It’s long but completely worth it ! The springs and the water falls are breathtaking! We caught a little rain but it was a great hike

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

I would rate this hike as moderate as opposed to hard, but don't take this trail lightly. First half is all downhill on rocky terrain. This obviously means that the second half of the hike will be entirely uphill. There seems to be lots of confusion about whether or not this trail leads to a waterfall. This trail takes you to a dam, which is where I think the confusion is. So the signs stating that the trail doesn't take you to "the waterfall" are correct. But I think most people are looking for the dam anyways.

2 months ago

so worth the work!!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

I would recommend you bring lots of water, some toilet paper, and make sure you wear hiking boots. I didn’t wear hiking boots and I strained both of my hip flexors pretty bad. Now I own a pair of hiking boots and trust me it’s much better. Haven’t been on the trail with them yet but one day I will. It was an overall fun trial but when you hit the bottoms you will have to walk an extra 5 miles to see any type of big waterfall. Me and my friend weren’t down for that so we turned around and they aren’t joking when they say it’s hard goin back up. Pack some food and EXTRA WATER! I can’t stress how important water is, if you think you have enough then you don’t. Lol we thought we were good but we ended up running out when we hit 0.1 miles left which, we got lucky. But we had to only take sips when we absolutely needed it. Overall, IF WE CAN DO IT, THEN YOU CAN DEFINITELY DO IT!!!

2 months ago

It was a very scenic and beautiful 9 mile trail and it descends/ascends 1500 ft going down to a beautiful waterfall and the "toilet bowl." Although difficult trail on the ascend, it is totally worth it. It took us about 4 hours to complete the hike. You also need a fossil creek permit and pay $6 for parking, all are found on Recreation.gov.

hiking
2 months ago

Did it today. Very good and strenuous. It is 10 miles hike and not 8.3 miles as it says in description. Waterfall is amazing.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail was absolutely amazing! Stunning views from start to finish, and the reward of the waterfall and clear blue water at the end was breathtaking! Note to hikers, bring water! I wouldn’t rate this as difficult however you need to be mindful of the amount of energy you use while enjoying the waterfall, cave etc. and again BRING WATER!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

I am 13 and I hiked this trail with my brothers and two friends whose ages range from 9 to 12 (along with my friends’ parents). The hike is not too rocky and is fine if you have appropriate footwear with toe protection, but it is long; 5 miles down and 5 miles back up the canyon. It takes about three and a half hours one way and is not recommended for younger children. Make sure to bring 3 liters of water for each person. There is a spring where the water comes up from the ground near the bottom of the canyon. We used iodine tablets to purify the water, but the park ranger said it would be safe to drink it straight. The scenery changes as you descend the canyon and there are many kinds of flowers around the path. The waterfall and creek are very beautiful, and the greenery is lush. There are also fish in the creek. There is an area where the water is blue and pristine, but we did not go there. DO NOT TRY THE “TOILET BOWL”! As fun as people say it is, the “Toilet Bowl” is a dangerous whirlpool located near the waterfall, and a man actually drowned in it when we were there. Heed the warning on the plaque! Over all, it was a pleasant but challenging hike. We went in early May and the weather was cool. The summer months may be too hot, and the hike may be more strenuous with the heat.

hiking
2 months ago

I have read several reviews that talk about a sign that says the Fossil Springs trail does not lead to the waterfall. All reviewers indicated that that is not true. I called the Red Rock Ranger Station and they said that the trail does NOT lead to the waterfall. Nor were they aware of the sign that many reviewers indicated goes either to the spring or the dam. Can someone please clarify again? Thanks

2 months ago

Beautiful ☀️

2 months ago

Nice hike, did it 4.26. would do again. backpacking and spending the night would be great. extra pair of water shoes would be handy I cut my heal open at the waterfall walking across the water barefoot.

hiking
2 months ago

Favorite place in the world. Be sure to go under the waterfall. Also you can dive into the “toilet bowl” and come out from underneath the rock into the big pool. Go a little downstream from the falls and you’ll see a nice big cave on your left. Worth the hike just bring a lot of water

2 months ago

did the hike 4 \ 26 . nice long and hot comming out. did the toilet bowl. it was cool.

hiking
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

Just did this hike on Saturday April 20. A group of 4 of us went and really enjoyed it! It is steep and has loose rocks and boulders on the trail. It does get a bit confusing about 3 miles into the trail. Cross a small damn. No water crossing as the water is just enough to make the rocks wet at the damn but your shoes won't get wet other than the sole on the bottom. We made it to the waterfall and the cave! Even went swimming in the pretty blue cave! Water was a bit chilly. The hike out is a hike! Don't do this when it's summer unless you go very early in the morning. There is not much shade until you get towards the end near the waterfall. Took us 1 hour 45 minutes to hike down and 1 hour 50 minutes to hike out, with little breaks.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Do not take this trail lightly. The incline is real, and you will work to get down and back up. Took us 4.5 hours, and we were hustling. Once you get to the river, the trail is extremely difficult in spots - Two river crossings, brush covered trail, tall grass at points, and even some spots you will be climbing down rock. The falls were amazing, but very scary at the same point. Half of the falls go into a spinning whirlpool, with what looked like no outlet. The other half plummet down the river. Be careful!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful place to go swimming. 4 miles down then you have to go 4 miles back up. Somehow we did not make it to the waterfall I’m not quite sure how now that I am looking at the pictures here. This hike is a good exercise and beautiful views overlooking the trees and the mountains.

hiking
no shade
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Great 4 hour hike. The trail states at the beginning that it does not reach the falls. However, if you cross the creek the trail continues to a fork where to the right is the dam and to the left is the springs. Heading left we were able to make it to the falls easily. You will run into some sort of think vegetation but navigating the trail to the falls is very easy.

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