FOSSIL CREEK NEAR GILA COUNTY, ARIZONA
Fossil Creek is a Wild and Scenic River that can be accessed via Fossil Creek Road near Gila County's community of Strawberry, Arizona. This river has long been one of Arizona's favorite recreational swimming holes. But with that comes many challenges. You will need a permit and parking pass to access the area.
Fossil Creek is one of only two Wild and Scenic rivers in Arizona. At temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, water gushes out at 20,000 gallons per minute from springs at the bottom of a 1,600 foot deep canyon. Over the years, these calcium-rich waters have laid down huge deposits of a material called travertine. That rock-like substance encases whatever happens to fall into the streambed - forming the fossil-like formations for which the area is named.
Fossil Creek is a rare riparian area within an arid landscape. Many plants and wildlife depend on Fossil Creek for habitat, including otters, beavers, leopard frogs and black hawks. Native fish populations have been successfully restored to some segments of Fossil Creek.