Fossil Creek Waterfall
Fossil Creek is a beautiful area to hike in Arizona and to cool off at in the summer. This swimming hole is like finding an oasis in the desert.
Fossil Creek Waterfall is in Camp Verde, between Phoenix and Sedona. It is an easy day trip.
Update: As of 2016, you must have an advanced permit to park your vehicle if visiting during the months of May - October. You will need to reserve a permit online. This may actually make it easier to visit because in the past it was very difficult to secure parking.
How to get to Fossil Creek
To get to Fossil Creek from Phoenix drive north on I-17 and take a right on the Camp Verde exit, drive 5 miles and make a right on Fossil Creek Road. From here it is a 16 mile drive down a washboard dirt road with no guard rails. This can be driven with a sedan, but it would be better with a high clearance vehicle.
This stretch of road can take 30 minutes to an hour depending on your speed and who you are stuck behind. The roads are narrow and there are some very pretty views.
There are several trails within this area of the Fossil Creek Wilderness, the Waterfall Trail is the most popular. To reach this trail continue down the dirt road, after you cross the Fossil Creek bridge you will see several places to pull over to park to your left.
The Waterfall Trail is the last parking area to your left before the road closes. Walk down the closed road for a short way and you will find the Waterfall Trail sign on your left. It is about a one mile hike to the waterfall and the turquoise blue swimming hole.