Cliff Jump At Fossil Creek Falls

1.5 Miles Round Trip - Out-and-Back Trail

Fossil Creek Waterfall Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Dane Nilsson

Enjoy a beautiful waterfall with a 25 foot cliff to jump off. There are multiple swimming areas, breathtaking scenery, and nearby camping spots along the adventure. There are no park/admission fees.

The journey is definitely worth it! Don't let the description discourage you from visiting here. This is simply to help you be prepared so that you can enjoy this wonderful place as safely as possible!

Fossil Creek Rd can only be accessed from Camp Verde via FH 9 (Hwy 260) and FR 708 due to road closures until Spring 2017. Before setting off on your journey, it is highly recommended that you travel in a vehicle suited for very rugged and rocky terrain. From the beginning of Fossil Creek Rd to the parking area is a 21 mile stretch of winding, narrow, mountainous unpaved road. There are many rocks, holes and other hazards that can pop tires or cause damage to your vehicle, so drive with caution. Your vehicle is going to get very, very dirty! Wait until after your adventure to take it to the car wash. Be sure to pack plenty of food and water. You will be in the wilderness and won't have easy access to supplies.

Drive on Fossil Creed Rd until you can't drive any farther due to the road closure. Parking is limited, not well labeled and there is a good chance that you will need to find a spot on the side of the road as this is a very popular location. The walk to the waterfall trail head is only about 1/4 mile and then another mile from the trail head to the waterfall. There is no noticeable incline and the terrain is suitable for all ages and experience levels. Boots or hiking shoes are recommended because of rocky areas and the possibility of encountering a rattlesnake. To lessen your chances of finding such a serpent, stay on the designated trail. Keep in mind that you will be in a remote area with no easy access to medical care or cellular service.

The mile walk goes through a beautiful forest alongside the colorfully stunning Fossil Creek. The crystal clear water emits vibrant hues of blues and greens along a rocky yet lush desert landscape that will entice any photographer or owner of a smart phone to capture the scenery in a digital image. If you prefer the serenity of nature over the crowd's excitement at the waterfall, the trail offers side paths to more peaceful locations on the creek that still facilitate swimming and the same beauty as the main attraction; complete with waterfalls! Take a moment to look down at your feet as you stand in the creek and you will discover that you are sharing the water with dozens of fish ranging in size from 3-12 inches. They are friendly and curious but completely harmless. This creek is their home and they don't mind having respectful visitors.

Once you've reached the destination, cool off from the desert heat by taking a swim in the large natural pool at the base of the waterfall. If you're feeling brave, take a dive off of the 25 foot rock ledge! Expect to share the area with people of all ages and walks of life. It's a great place to be social and make some new friends while creating exciting adventures and unforgettable memories.

Please remember to pack it in and pack it out! Keep this natural wonder clean for future visitors and preserve the ecosystem in which it thrives.

Geo Coordinates: 34.414668, -111.605477


Dog Friendly
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole


1.5 Miles
Out-and-Back Trail

Stay Nearby

Camp Verde, Arizona

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Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Fossil Creek Rebounding?

They offer new online parking reservations at if you want to ensure good parking for this very busy area. While I've avoided this area the last couple of years due to all the crowds, trash and injuries. I've heard that it has rebounded since the permit system and will have to check it out!

Great swimming hole one of the best in the state! Its a short hike so it is great for families. The water is super clear tons of fish and green everywhere!

Make sure if you go in the summer that you get a parking pass and make sure to print it before you go or you will get turned back!! Also be sure to take your trash out!

Well Worth The Drive/Time!

My two friends and I made the trip from Chander, AZ and it was about a 2.5 hour trip to the start of the *dreaded* 14 mile unpaved road. From there, it was probably about another hour to the trail head. (Make sure you buy a permit online before you go!) the bumpy unpaved road seems unforgiving and everlasting but BELIEVE ME that drive it worth it for the creek. We parked in the Irvine parking lot and walked about .25 miles to the Waterfall trail parking lot (it was full when we went to buy our pass). From there, there are a few trail heads but to get to the waterfall you want to continue walking up what looks like a road after about .5 miles you will find a trail head and walk about another mile to get to the waterfall. Super cool and so worth it but I also recommend stopping in cool spots along the way as they had less people and we're still swimmable and very relaxing.

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