Enjoy a beautiful waterfall with a 25 foot cliff to jump off. There are multiple swimming areas, breathtaking scenery, and nearby camping spots along the adventure. There are no park/admission fees.

The journey is definitely worth it! Don't let the description discourage you from visiting here. This is simply to help you be prepared so that you can enjoy this wonderful place as safely as possible!

Fossil Creek Rd can only be accessed from Camp Verde via FH 9 (Hwy 260) and FR 708 due to road closures until Spring 2017. Before setting off on your journey, it is highly recommended that you travel in a vehicle suited for very rugged and rocky terrain. From the beginning of Fossil Creek Rd to the parking area is a 21 mile stretch of winding, narrow, mountainous unpaved road. There are many rocks, holes and other hazards that can pop tires or cause damage to your vehicle, so drive with caution. Your vehicle is going to get very, very dirty! Wait until after your adventure to take it to the car wash. Be sure to pack plenty of food and water. You will be in the wilderness and won't have easy access to supplies.

Drive on Fossil Creed Rd until you can't drive any farther due to the road closure. Parking is limited, not well labeled and there is a good chance that you will need to find a spot on the side of the road as this is a very popular location. The walk to the waterfall trail head is only about 1/4 mile and then another mile from the trail head to the waterfall. There is no noticeable incline and the terrain is suitable for all ages and experience levels. Boots or hiking shoes are recommended because of rocky areas and the possibility of encountering a rattlesnake. To lessen your chances of finding such a serpent, stay on the designated trail. Keep in mind that you will be in a remote area with no easy access to medical care or cellular service.

The mile walk goes through a beautiful forest alongside the colorfully stunning Fossil Creek. The crystal clear water emits vibrant hues of blues and greens along a rocky yet lush desert landscape that will entice any photographer or owner of a smart phone to capture the scenery in a digital image. If you prefer the serenity of nature over the crowd's excitement at the waterfall, the trail offers side paths to more peaceful locations on the creek that still facilitate swimming and the same beauty as the main attraction; complete with waterfalls! Take a moment to look down at your feet as you stand in the creek and you will discover that you are sharing the water with dozens of fish ranging in size from 3-12 inches. They are friendly and curious but completely harmless. This creek is their home and they don't mind having respectful visitors.

Once you've reached the destination, cool off from the desert heat by taking a swim in the large natural pool at the base of the waterfall. If you're feeling brave, take a dive off of the 25 foot rock ledge! Expect to share the area with people of all ages and walks of life. It's a great place to be social and make some new friends while creating exciting adventures and unforgettable memories.

Please remember to pack it in and pack it out! Keep this natural wonder clean for future visitors and preserve the ecosystem in which it thrives.

Geo Coordinates: 34.414668, -111.605477

Pack List

  • Hiking Shoes
  • Food & Water
  • An Off Road Worthy Vehicle
  • Swimming Suits
  • Camera
  • First Aid Kit
  • Spare Tire & Car Jack
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RT Distance 1.5 Miles
Activities Chillin, Camping, Photography, Swimming, Hiking, Diving
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Beautiful Falls

This was my wife and I's first trip out here in AZ. It was a really beautiful area. Went on a Friday so it wasn't terribly busy. The drive in was 14 miles of unfinished road with some decent sized rocks that'll slow you down. We parked at the closest parking lot and it was about a 30 minute hike. I thought it was going to be an easy "walk" to the falls, so I went in flip flops. It was definitely easy enough to do in flip flops, but next time I'll be bring some actual shoes ;). Speaking of which, you're going to want to have some kind of water shoes for the falls. I will be going again for sure.

Amazing Oasis

This is my favorite swimming hole in the United States. There is nothing more stunning than being in the middle of the desert and finding this clear and cold water.

Oasis best describes it!

The water was so beautiful and clear and well worth the 14 mile dirt drive down. Be sure to get your Permit from the Recreation.gov, you can't go down with out it, and be sure to PRINT IT ;)


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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