Hike #9 | Fossil Springs
Labor Day weekend was quite a busy weekend for us! We took full advantage of the long holiday weekend to get in hike #9/20 and it was long and hot, but it came with a waterfall! Dream come true for me!
Fossil Springs trail is up in the Pine/Payson area. I've heard about the waterfall there from several people and I've always heard that it can get pretty busy there, but I kinda have a thing for all things water...oceans (#1 obsession), waterfalls, rivers, springs, ponds, etc.... So this one has been on our list for quite some time and we finally hiked it.
There are a couple ways you can get to the falls, and not all of them involve an 8 mile round trip hike, but that's the one we chose. We wanted to get a little exercise out of it, and boy was that mission accomplished. The All Trails app reviews warn you that the first half of the hike to get to the waterfall is all downhill, which of course means that the hike back out to your car is going to be uphill.
As we hiked down to the falls, it was so easy that I didn't even realize how downhill we were going. We came to a fork in the trail about 4 miles in, and there was a sign pointing "To Spring" or "To Dam/Toilet Bowl." I was a little thrown off by that toilet bowl comment, so to the spring we went. We came across a natural spring just bubbling away and I was already in heaven. Hung out there for a bit, ate a PB sandwich, then decided to go check out this "dam toilet bowl." Now, at the trailhead where we started there were a ton of signs warning us that this trail didn't lead to the "falls." I'm not entirely sure why, because the "toilet bowl" seemed to be code name for "waterfall." We climbed a little further up this trail and came out to a clearing and to my extreme excitement there it was! And people were swimming in it! You better believe I brought a change of clothes and yes, I absolutely went swimming! I almost didn't, but as we turned to leave and I took one last look at those people in what looked like glorious, perfectly cool water, I HAD to go in. #worthit. Just so worth it, that even the 4 mile hike back UP to the car was OK. I died a little, my legs burned and wanted to give out, the sun was full force...but that swim made every mile worth it.
Location: Pine, AZ
Trail: Fossil Springs Trailhead
Distance: 8.4 miles