Fossil Creek - Classic Section

Fossil Creek, Arizona, US


Classic Section

Usual Difficulty III+(IV) (for normal flows)
Length 14 Miles

Fossile Creek

Fossile Creek
Photo of Fossile Creek

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level

River Description

This creek is currently being designated as a Wild and Scenic River...therefore *possibly* excluding kayaking. It is a special place to all who visit it, and needs to be protected. TAKE CARE!! Kayakers always do, but just as a reminder.

Anyways, with that said...the run is straight forward and fun. Start at the trailhead (see put in directions) and hike upstream for 1 mile till you reach a 15'er that drops into a beautiful big pool. This is your "Classic Section" put in. Drop off the waterfall and enjoy the ride down (class IV) Scout accordingly and watch out for the various piton rocks. Take out is a fun 10' double fall. Enjoy!

Directions: Put in is the bottom of the canyon down Fossil Creek Road (out of Strawberry, AZ) You will make your way down the dangerous windy road till you reach a parking area and a coupla homes (powerplant). This is you take out and the beginning of your put-in hike.
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2007-07-09 13:14:14

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

2010-03-23 11:10:43 (2026 days ago)
canoist (151597)
I ran this yesterday from above the power house falls downto the bridge. Somekayakers ran the
falls, but being in a canoe i portaged. The whitewater was constant, and very technical. one blade
would make me rate it a III+ to a IV without hesitation. I ran into a lot of deadfall. BE CAREFULL!
The drive there is sketchy, fossilcreek road goes through the drainage, and the Strawberry side is
slightly faster and a lot cleaner.

2010-02-08 01:30:36 (2069 days ago)
YaknAZ (150513)
Jerry Lovett 2/6/10 Ran the classic section from the 20 footer (not a 15' like the description
Say's) to the power house yesterday at double base flow, probably 100 CFS. Perfect level! A big
flood cleaned up the one pin rock we used to avoid and made it a perfect III chute, it's a whole
different creek now. This is a fun creek run all year but if you can catch it a high flow it's a
blast. Look for about 130 CFS on the West Clear creek gauge.

2009-06-19 07:06:50 (2303 days ago)
x (1)
Well you might count the falls at a IV, but they are really easy. I would not say this is over a
III+ though unless you are there on a monsoon flood. Fossil is one of my favorite places to kayak.
It is very technical and just fun to play in.

2009-03-22 06:14:13 (2392 days ago)
x (1)
From what I hear, this is NOT class III. Closer to class IV or IV+.

2008-08-25 03:23:09 (2601 days ago)
Kevin ColburnDetails
The USFS has closed the river for the 2008 fall and spring during the demolition of the Irving
power Plant. You can check out the details at:

2008-07-31 11:58:33 (2626 days ago)
x (1)
We talked to a Forest Service ranger and he said that they were going to close this creek off to
kayakers soon. So here goes another public area that the government is going to restrict. Their
reasoning is that kayakers damage the build up of mineral deposits in the river. Kayak this while
you can. It is fun!

2008-06-29 07:35:27 (2658 days ago)
x (1)
I believe this is a 3 mile run if you go from the put in to the take out at the power plant. It is
probably a 14 mile run if you go all the way to Verde river. It is a mega fun run though... except
the 2 mile hike in. Scout each rapid for debrie and pinning rocks. There are 2 bad pinning places
that I know of.

2007-07-25 01:23:06 (2998 days ago)
Based on the description this is NOT a 14 mile run.
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