Fossil Springs Wilderness

  

 

This 11,550 acre Wilderness boasts one of the most diverse riparian area in Arizona. Over thirty species of trees and shrubs and over a hundred species of birds have been observed in this unique habitat. The lushness of the riparian area strikes a sharp contrast to the brittle desert that surrounds it. Read more...

View Fossil Creek & Fossil Springs Wilderness photo gallery [Flickr]

 

New! Parking Permit Reservations!

Book Now on Recreation.gov!

Tired of fighting the crowds at Fossil Creek? Our new parking permit reservation system is here!

Spring-Summer Season (April 1 - October 1): A reserved, printed parking permit is required. No more getting up at the crack of dawn to get a parking spot at the creek! Reserve a parking spot at Recreation.gov for any of the parking areas in the Fossil Creek area. During the Spring-Summer Season, the Fossil Creek and Springs area is day use only. Camping is prohibited.

See Fossil Creek Reservation System Information for more details, videos, news, and more!

 

For current conditions, call the
Fossil Creek Hotline 928-226-4611

 

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Fossil Creek Rd. is closed at SR 260 due to hazardous, wet roads. Creekside sites on FR 708 and FR 502 are unreachable.Fossil Creek Road Partial Closure Fossil Creek Road (FR 708) is closed between Fossil Springs Trailhead (just west of Strawberry, AZ) and the Waterfall Trailhead (east of Fossil Creek Bridge) indefinitely. See the Fossil Creek Map, Guide, and Rules (guía en Español) and the Fossil Creek Road Closure Forest Order for information.
  • From Camp Verde, AZ: Use this route for creekside day use areas, Flume Trail, and Waterfall Trail access. High-clearance vehicle strongly recommended.
  • From Strawberry, AZ: Use this route to access Fossil Springs Trail. The creek and waterfall cannot be accessed by car from Strawberry.
Operational Hours: Spring-Summer Season (April 1 - October 1)
  • Sally May, Purple Mountain, and Mazatzal Parking Lots: Parking lots are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Homestead, Fossil Creek Bridge, Tonto Bench, Irving (Flume Trailhead), Waterfall Trailhead, and Fossil Springs Trailhead Parking Lots: Parking lots are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The access gate closes at 4 p.m. daily; however, you may still exit the parking lot after 4 p.m.
Fall-Winter Season (October 2 - March 31): Gates are open 24 hours unless there is a weather related closure.
Reservations: Make parking pass reservations on Recreation.gov. Reservations are only required during the Spring-Summer Season (April 1 - October 1).
Area Amenities: Fee charged for some activities,Parking
Fees
  • Spring-Summer Season (April 1 - October 1): $6.00 per vehicle per day. Permits are not issued on-site. Reservations for a specific parking lot must be made in advance on Recreation.gov.
  • Fall-Winter Season (October 2 - March 31): No fees, permits, or reservations are required.
Permit Info:
  • Spring-Summer Season (April 1 - October 1): Parking Permit required. A reserved parking permit and pass are required for parking in the Fossil Creek area. Reservations for a specific parking lot must be made in advance. Visitors must bring printed permits and passes to the site.
  • Fall-Winter Season (October 2 - March 31): No passes or permits are required.
Open Season: Year-round
Usage: Medium
Busiest Season: Summer and weekends
Restrictions: Camping:
  • Spring-Summer Season: Camping is prohibited anywhere in the permit area.
  • Fall-Winter Season: Camping is prohibited between Fossil Creek Bridge and Fossil Creek Dam.
Campfires and Glass Containers: Campfires and glass containers are prohibited between Ike's Saddle and the head of Fossil Creek. See the Spring-Summer Guide, Fall-Winter Guide and Forest Orders for information. Clear Creek Campground and Childs Dispersed Camping Area are recommended area camping sites.
Closest Towns: Camp Verde, AZ
Operated By: Red Rock District 928-203-2900
Information Center: Fossil Creek Hotline 928-226-4611

General Information

General Notes:

Attractions: Trails for hiking and horseback riding, unique rock formations, great scenery, wildlife viewing, lush riparian area

Notes:

  • No trash service: Take trash and other items with you to avoid fines for littering/trash dumping.
  • Periodic closures of Fossil Creek Road due to health and safety concerns may occur.
  • Mechanized vehicles, including mountain bikes and remote controlled aircraft, are not permitted in the Wilderness.
  • This area can be quite hot in summer. The stream flow is intermittent but the springs flow year-round.

 


Parking:

Parking

  • Spring-Summer Season (April 1 - October 1): Permit is required for parking. Reservations for a specific parking lot must be made in advance. Visitors must bring printed permits and passes to the site. Permits cannot be purchased on-site. See Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about Fossil Creek reservations.
  • Fall-Winter Season (October 2 - March 31): No passes or permits are required.

Directions:

Location: Fossil Creek is located about 22 miles southeast of Camp Verde (86 miles south of Flagstaff) off paved and dirt roads. Fossil Creek Rd. (FR 708) and Childs Rd. (FR 502) are steep and very rough. These roads may be extremely muddy, slippery, and treacherous after it rains.

GPS (Map): 34°24'24.3"N 111°34'06.4"W

Access via Camp Verde: From Interstate 17, exit 287, turn east on State Route 260 towards Payson and travel 10 miles. Between mile 228 and 229, Forest Road 708 (Fossil Creek Road) will intersect SR 260 on the right, signed as Fossil Creek/Verde River. Travel 14 miles down this rough dirt road (high-clearance 4WD vehicles recommended) to the intersection with Forest Road 502 (Childs Road).

 

Download seasonal recreation guides for Fossil Creek and Fossil Springs Wilderness

Fossil Creek Summer Map and Guide

Spring-Summer Guide
April 1 - October 1
(PDF, 1.7 MB)

Fossil Creek Fall-Winter Map and Guide

Fall-Winter Guide
October 2 - March 31
(PDF, 1.6 MB)

 

Mapas y guías de área de permisos de Fossil Creek (Español)

Mapa y guía de área de permisos de Fossil Creek en primavera y verano

Guía para la primavera y el verano
1 de abril - 1 de octubre
(PDF, 220 kB)

Mapa y guía de área de permisos de Fossil Creek en otoño e invierno

Guía para el otoño e invierno
2 de octubre - 31 de marzo
(PDF, 250 kB)

 


Activities


Hiking

Show detail SHOW

Horse Riding & Camping

Show detail SHOW

Amenities

Fee charged for some activities Spring-Summer Season (April 1 - October 1): $6 reserved parking permit required. No fees in Fall-Winter Season.
Parking Spring-Summer Season (April 1 - October 1): Printed, reserved parking permit required. Parking permits not required in Fall-Winter Season.
Areas & Activities

Featured Events

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
11,550 acres

  Latitude : 
34.448697

  Longitude : 
-111.543842

  Elevation : 
4677