That Creek in Northern Arizona

For our second hike, we chose the very popular Fossil Springs Creek near Strawberry, Arizona.

The trail makes a wide arc from the ridge into a red rock canyon. A highly mineralized spring with a constant temperature of about 70 degrees trickles down to the canyon floor through an enormous travertine dam.

There are two pools, each with stony bottoms, lots of shelves for lying around, and crystal clear water that is far deeper than it looks. We've read that the springs above the creek continue to deposit travertine at the astounding rate of 12 metric tons per day.

While the older travertine is gray and gnarly, the newer travertine is buff and slightly irridescent. It applies a coat of crystallized maple syrup to everything in its path, from common weeds to rusty tin cans.

There are more gorgeous pools than you can count on this river -- and all with a constant year-round temperature of approximately 70°!

This multi-media waterfall drips water, icicles, travertine and ferns simultaneously!