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Fossil Springs Day Hike
Strawberry
March 3, 2018
by Tamar Gottfried
  GPS Map 
  Elevation 

Four days after Pine, Arizona had a significant snowfall, 11 intrepid Trailblazers assembled in the no permit needed (since it was March, not April and beyond) Fossil Springs parking lot and set off in 30+ degree weather. While this parking lot would be full to bursting in a month, it was empty with the exception of one other car on this fine morning. We passed the multiple signs warning of the dangers of this hike in summer temperatures and soon were treated to snow on the side of the trail.

As we began our descent the snow began the cover the trail, and our steps became more slow and careful as we tried to avoid squishy mud and slippery ice.

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Snow on the trail – watch your step! [photo by Tamar]
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We’re going to make it down. [photo by Diva]
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Tread carefully on the snow. [photo by Lin]

After a quick break at the 2.3 mile mark for a break and a shedding of layers, we began to warm in the sun and saw less and less of the icy stuff at the lower elevation. After a few hours of hiking, we reached the creek and took a minute to sun ourselves on the warm rocks surrounding by flowing water.

We continued along the unofficial but cheerfully signed trail to visit the spring, where we stopped for our first group photo and then continued on to the waterfall. We then took a longer break to have our lunch and appreciate the majestic waterfall and take photos. After a sufficient rest, some explored the remnants of the old dam and then we reversed direction.

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Great is your reward. [photo by Lin]
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Ahhh, this is the life! [photo by Diva]
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The majestic waterfall. [photo by Tamar]
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Trailblazers at Fossil Springs. [photo by Tamar]
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Paradise. [photo by Lin]
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Yes, we made it! [photo by Tamar]
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Celebrating the waterfall. [photo by Diva]
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Celebrating the waterfall. [photo by Diva]

The way back was a lot of climbing, some parts steeper than others, but our strong hikers made quick work of the 4 mile trail. We reached the parking lot around 2 PM, our ascent was actually faster than the descent because the snow was melty by then and easier to trudge through.

We celebrated our day of snow and waterfalls and having Fossil Springs practically to ourselves, with a meal at That Brewery in Strawberry, which was good as always. A great top off to a great day.

→   More pictures, by Tom


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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated March 8, 2018