Fossil Creek, Arizona, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III(V) (for normal flows)|
|FOSSIL CREEK NEAR STRAWBERRY, AZ|
|usgs-09507480||45 - 500 cfs||II-III(V)||00h44m||39.9 cfs (too low)|
The upper stretch of Fossil Creek is a more committing run with a rugged hike to the put-in and more complicated shuttle logistics.
Although this is a scenic run through a lush oasis in an arid landscape, the run can drag on for a bit. It is worth exploring for the scenic beauty and if you have done other runs in the area and are seeking a new adventure.
One major bonus of this run is Fossil Creek Falls; it was first run by Cody Howard and has been run since. There are two options for this 30-40 drop: the river right channel (Through da' Trees) or the river left (Mini Bomb). Believe it or not, Mini Bomb is the cleaner of the two. For those with the skills to run these drops safely, you will know what to do. Others, should steer clear.
From there on down, the creek is filled with trees, spiders, nasty pitons and more trees. Get down to the start of the classic section by either boating or shouldering your boat on down.
This run requires a longer hike and more complicated shuttle logistics. The put-in is accessed off of the segment of the Fossil Creek Road that begins in Strawberry off Highway 260. Drive 4.7 miles west down this road and turn right to the Fossil Springs Trailhead Parking (Lot 6). A reservation and parking permit is required for this trailhead April 1 through October 1.
From the trailhead it is a 3.1 mile hike to the put-in at Fossil Springs with a 1280' descent from the canyon rim.
Since this run continues on through the classic run on Fossil Creek you will need to access the take-out from the Camp Verde side. Just east of Camp Verde on State Route 260 and turn onto Fossil Creek Road (Forest Road 708) which is a 14 mile dirt road that heads down to Fossil Creek. As you approach the junction of Forest Road 708 and 502 you will enter the Fossil Creek Permit Area.
At the Forest Road Road 708/502 junction, turn left and head 0.75 miles to the Fossil Creek Bridge day use site (Lot 2) which is the standard take-out for the classic run. A reservation and permit is required to park here April 1 through October 1. It is possible to use a take-out at one of the other lots upstream or downstream of the bridge.
Advance permits are required to park a vehicle within the Fossil Creek Permit Area from April 1 through October 1. During this season and dependent on availability, a maximum of six permits, per person is allowed (one permit = one day). Permits are made available one month ahead of time, on the first of the month.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Old Fossil Creek Dam||N/A|