Fossil Springs Trail

MODERATE 133 reviews
#2 of 91 trails in

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.

DISTANCE
8.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1633 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

A permit is required to hike here from May 1 through September 30.

hiking
1 day ago

Amazing hike. Visited through Strawberry. As previous reviewers note - it is all down, down, down to begin. Which, of course, means it is up, up up as you leave. Take your time, drink PLENTY OF WATER, and rest when needed and you'll be fine. Trail is well-signed. . . but somehow we missed the turn to the water!!! Accidentally hiked an extra 1.5 miles. Once you see the falls (there is a big info sign to your right), head down and left. Swim, sunbathe, relax. Pack out what you pack in!!!!! Not a lot of litter, but the few pieces we saw (including a large deflated raft) made us sad. I can't wait to return!

hiking
8 days ago

This was a moderately hard hike but worth the effort...it was beautiful! We started at the Fossil Springs trailhead. About 4 miles down the trail split to either Fossil Springs or the Old Dam/Toilet Bowl. We took the Old Dam/Toilet Bowl trail which led us to Flume Trail. The Flume Trail goes fo about another 5 miles, which we did not do. Early on the Flume Trail you will start to see some one off paths that lead to the waterfall and cave. That part was AMAZING and I definitely recommend it. By that point we were about 5 miles in total. The first 2-2.5 miles back are difficult/strenuous. Some parts are steep and require navigating through loose rock. The last couple miles back are not as difficult as most of the path is smooth (er) and have Little Rock to navigate over/through. Definitely bring water and pay attention to the warnings. We did the hike when temp was below 80. Couldn't imagine doing it above 90 as that would have made the hike much harder. ALSO NOTE: PERMIT IS REQUIRED TO BE BOOKED JN ADVANCE DUE TO POPULARITY!

hiking
11 days ago

One of my favorite hikes!! Over 20 years hiking this beautiful hike!

hiking
15 days ago

Awesome spot to hike. Beautiful place to go cliff jumping. Arizonas way better then Michigan!!!

17 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

Worth hiking to the Falls!

28 days ago

Best hike I've done in AZ! I'm an experienced hiker here in Arizona and I wish I had been recommended this trail sooner. Views along the way are great and the springs and water holes are AMAZING. Follow the signs and go to the toilet bowl. That is where the waterfall and swimming pools are. The water temperature was great! Bring lots of drinking water, hiking shoes, and a swimsuit (water shoes and goggles if you can) cause you'll want to swim in this pristine water. We also brought a packed lunch and some cards to spend some time in this haven. It's great that this location is permit only, because we did not have to fight any crowds and we felt like we got to enjoy paradise all on our own! Go down the stream a bit from the toilet bowl to find some beautiful caves. The hike was not hard. We made it down in an hour and 15 and hiked back up in an hour and 45. The hike back is not bad, take your time if you need to! *Note: there are signs at the beginning of the trail that says this trail does not go to "the waterfall". We arent sure what those signs meant because we went to a big waterfall (toilet bowl)! So perhaps there is another waterfall or the signs are incorrect? I think they are incorrect...But never fear, follow the trail and you'll get to the waterfall you see in the pics here.

hiking
1 month ago

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

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

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!

hiking
1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.