Waterfall Trail (November 14, 2017)

Waterfall Trail (November 14, 2017), Arizona, Red Rock Ranger District, Waterfall, Water, HQ Photo
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Autumn on Waterfall Trail, Fossil Creek, November 14, 2017. Fall colors were at their peak the entire length of Fossil Creek. Daytime tempertures were in the 70°F's.


A large, natural waterfall on Fossil Creek is the destination of an easy, one mile hike on Waterfall Trail. A large, deep pool at the base of the fall is a popular swimming hole.


Fossil Creek produces 20,000 gallons of water a minute from a series of springs at the bottom of a 1,600 foot deep canyon. This permanent water source has created a stunningly beautiful, green riparian zone rich with flora and fauna at the bottom of this arid canyon in Arizona's high desert. Travertine deposits encase whatever happens to fall into the streambed, forming the fossils for which the area is named. These deposits create deep pools along the length of the creek, providing opportunities to find more secluded swimming holes than the popular pool at the waterfall. Fossil Creek is one of two "Wild and Scenic" rivers in Arizona. This designation was achieved when the Irving power plant was decommissioned, and removal of flume and dam on the creek allowed the creek to flow free.


Increasing popularity has led to the Coconino and Tonto National Forests to implement a parking permit reservation system in 2016. Reserved parking permits allow visitors to have a parking spot available in their chosen parking lot. Many visitors drive two or three hours to get to the creek. The final descent to the creek at the bottom of a canyon is on an extremely rough, rocky jeep road. In prior years, the area would often be closed to entry when it reached capacity, and potential visitors would be turned away after the long, difficult drive.


Photo by Deborah Lee Soltesz, November 14, 2017. For trail and recreation information, see Fossil Creek, Fossil Springs Wilderness, and the Coconino National Forest.

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Licence: Creative Commons - CC0. Photos transferred to the public domain from Creative Commons.

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Created at: 2017-11-14
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