Fossil Creek Wild & Scenic River is an amazing recreation area in Central Arizona. It’s VERY popular April-October and a permit is required to enter the area during that time period. We did a ride that left from the Fossil Springs Trailhead and descended way down into the canyon and then followed the creek to a lookout spur and turned around and came back. Our ride was 27 miles with 3,658′ of climbing. Oof!
Water flows out at 20,000 gallons per minute from springs at the bottom of a 1,600 foot deep canyon. These calcium rich waters deposit a material called travertine that encases whatever happens to fall into the streambed – forming the fossil like formations for which the area is named. Everywhere we stopped along the creek, we were mesmerized by the colors and fantastical rock formations lining the banks.
The ride itself wasn’t very technical, it was a gravel road almost the whole way. The first 6 miles or so are closed to cars from the way we went. The road is that bad! The hard part of this ride was the climbing at the end to get back to our car, and the jumbled rock road out to the lookout. Moving time was 3:21 but we were gone 4:12 so you can tell we were off hiking around the river a fair amount. What a great day of exploring.
The places we are going and the things we are seeing blow my mind daily.