AZHC President Joe Michalides led us on this warm springtime hike to
one of the most refreshing places in Arizona.
We start from a trailhead west of Strawberry, high up on the rim
overlooking the Fossil Creek Wilderness. Our trail is an abandoned
Jeep road that makes a steady descent west of Nash Point, all the
way down to the creek.
We can see part of our route from the top, a trail far below us
along the side of a ridge. A patch of lush, green vegetation at
the bottom of the canyon gives us a hint of the location of Fossil
Springs, but most of our route is hidden by the dry forest.
Halfway down, we stop for a group picture at a bend in the trail
with a campsite and shade trees.
Our descent continues relentlessly. The trail steepens. We meet
a couple of hikers in distress by the side of the trail.
The woman has suffered a broken leg. They have called for help,
but need water. Lyndon gives her a 2-liter bottle of ice water,
Joe gives them his rain poncho for shade, and we head on down
the trail. They were gone when we came back, but Joe’s
rain poncho was still there.
A gate marks the National Forest boundary. Farther west the
routes divide, with the main trail going right and the trail
to Fossil Springs going left. We turn left and go south to the
bottom of the canyon.
Cobblestones and slickrock line the streambed in Fossil Creek.
The trail is indefinite in this area. But it doesn’t matter.
Everyone knows we’re heading south, downstream to the springs.
Pools of water give us encouragement along the way.