Fossil Creek in Arizona is the “Wild & Scenic” Adventure to Have This Summer
Karyn Wofford is a freelance writer in the fields of travel, eco-tourism, and wellness. She’s an avid traveler and Georgia native. She grew up with a passion for travel, exploring everything from the mountains to the ocean, and continues to find new and unique things to do in the places she travels.
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Fossil Creek is an official “Wild and Scenic” river in Arizona, in which 1,200,000 gallons of crystal clear water flows every hour, out of natural springs from the Mogollon Rim at the base of the canyon. An industrial dam used to clog the creek, but in the early 2000’s it was thankfully decommissioned, thus restoring the area back to its paradise-like state.
Calcium is abundant in Fossil Creek and is ultimately responsible for the title. The composition allows limestone, or travertine, to deposit onto various objects—when the substance breaks away, fossils are formed. Caribbean-esque blue waters appear like an oasis in the barren desert landscape, offering habitat to wild pigs, otters, and birds.
The 70-degree temperatures allure adventurists and sunbathers to the riparian haven. Hiking to the main waterfall is a bucket list item in Arizona—cascading in multiple directions into a deep cobalt pool, the falls are a dreamy place to dive in. Camp Verde is one of the most proximal places to stay for relatively close access. Fossil Springs Trail will lead to the main swimming hole of Fossil Creek. Be prepared, as it is a rugged eight-mile hike with some steep portions. Fossil Creek’s wilderness is now protected to preserve its beauty, so a few rules are in place.