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.
It's hard to do only because it's so long and flat. They are warning signs every couple feet in the beginning to scare you. If you're an experienced hiker and have a couple bottles of water you'll be just fine. If you go up to the "toilet bowl" it's an amazing swimming hole
We really enjoyed this hike! It's not hard at all. I don't think it deserves the "hard" rating on all trails. Maybe moderate. But it is almost 10 miles round trip so it's certainly long! You have to buy a permit in advance to do this hike, which I appreciate because it's awesome not having a million people on the trail. The trail is easy to follow, and when you get to the waterfall at the dam you can go for a swim! The water is not too cold. Bring goggles so you can dive under and look at the fish! We did this hike in April, and it was hot in the way out. I wouldn't recommend doing it any later than April or may. Maybe I would agree with the "hard" rating if I was trying to trek this trail in 100 degree heat, but that does NOT sound fun! All in all, it's a fun and solid hike. If you go, PLEASE pack your trash out. We carried some trash we found strewn on the side of the trail out, and it annoyed me. If you can pack it in, you can pack it out. Please respect this beautiful area and do your part to preserve it!
This one has been on my list for a long time. I like the permit system, there was the perfect amount of people at the dam and I only found about 7 pieces of trash in the area to pick up and pack out. We clocked just over 9 miles.
The dam area is fun; we explored a little both above and below the dam. For our group of 3, the dam area doesn't offer enough to make the hike out worth the trip. We love waterfalls and rivers and lakes and cliff jumping but this one just didn't do it for us. So we all agreed it's not something we would do again. It is really pretty down by the river though, and we are so excited to have gone down there.
I suggest bringing a water filter so that you can carry just enough water for each direction, refilling bottles or hydration packs from the river before heading back to the car.
For the tech or stat savvy people--
Our group was 3 people, in our mid 30s. We hike often and backpack carrying roughly 45 lbs each.
On our GPS from the restrooms to the dam was 4.55 miles and we did the same 4.55 miles from the dam to the restrooms. I never stopped the GPS or run time at all between the start point and end point in either direction. So we did 2 hours 19 miles downhill going in and 3 hours 29 minutes uphill coming out, including our two breaks for snacks each way. GPS logged 3726 feet of elevation change between the bathrooms and the dam and the dam and the bathrooms. That includes all the ups an downs the trail makes along the way, both directions and the 1441 feet in difference between the bathrooms and dam, each way.
I did not run the GPS at all while we swam or ate lunch.
Wow! Such indescribable beauty right here in our own backyard. Beautiful hike. The hike in isn't too bad, lots of loose rock/gravel but all downhill. The hike out, however, is definitely a challenge. Be sure to bring food to refuel and lots of water. On a side note water shoes and a snorkel set would be cool to bring also for play in the water. Check out the cave to the left of the dam. Just be sure to come prepared for the adventure.
This is a fun trail! I didn't think it was too difficult in terrain or climb, but it is certainly long! We continued off the trail at the end to reach the waterfalls--it's a bit difficult to find, but we asked a few campers along the way. The swimming was great! The water was cold but so clear and a great depth.
Fun hike. We did this in Mid March and it was already getting hot so bring enough water. The signs say you can not get to waterfall but if you follow the creek down a bit you will hit the waterfall. The hike out is a steady incline and gets a little steep at points and trail has lots of rocks so wear the correct shoes.
Great hike. No shade. Down hill to the waterfall then all up hill. Not too bad. Just a like incline. Water shoes definitely made things easier when jumping in the water. Water is still a little cold, but once in it feel wonderful. Easy for an every week hikers. Enjoy !
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!!