Due to inexperienced hikers and thrill-seeking city dwellers, Fossil Creek Trail has earned a popular reputation amongst forest rangers as being the hike most visitors come to unprepared. Escaping the summer heat in search for the creek’s renowned waterfall, people often leave some pretty essential items at home: water, good hiking shoes, and sunscreen. List of Hiking Essentials for Fossil Creek 1) Water: Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir Never skimp on water, ever. This hike is no exception to that rule. A 2-liter reservoir should do the trick for this hike. And what’s great about Osprey’s reservoir is its magnetic strap, which gives you easy access to the bite valve and a convenient place for it to rest. 2) Pack: REI Trail 30 Pack Plenty of pockets, padded straps, AND it comes with a rain cover! This is a great pack if you plan on bringing some extra items to soak in the Fossil Creek waterfall, like a hammock, water shoes, or whatever else your little heart desires. 3) Shoes: La Sportiva Synthesis GORE-TEX® SURROUND® Boots GORE-TEX® SURROUND® product technology is meant for this kind of hike. It was cool, then hot, dry then wet, but my feet never felt uncomfortable. Along with all the other features, like a heel brake and a very comfortable insole, I never once felt like my feet were on the brink of tears. 4) Water shoes: Chaco Z/2 Unaweep Sandals Seeing a waterfall is why we chose Fossil Creek, but we were aware of the many horror stories of people injuring themselves. Add navigating the slippery rocks near the watering hole to the mix, and you’ll realize having a solid pair of shoes that can get wet will go a long way. Chaco’s Unaweep sandals did the trick in making our waterfall jumps safe. 5) Shell: The North Face Dryzzle Jacket Driving up to the trailhead, brooding clouds surrounded us. We weren’t sure if a storm was in our future, so I had brought my Dryzzle jacket with GORE-TEX PACLITE® product technology to stay dry if it did start pouring. Thankfully, it didn’t. But, the jacket is so lightweight and packable that I didn’t mind having it there as a fallback. 6) Shirt: REI Sahara Tech Plaid Shirt I had never worn a button up shirt on a day hike before this trip, so I was hesitant that I’d be comfortable. Thanks to the mesh armpits, I didn’t have to worry about sweat building up in my shirt. I took it off as soon as we reached the waterfall and accidentally dropped it into a puddle. I thought I’d be hiking out in a wet shirt, but I threw the exterior locker loop up on a nearby tree and it dried within 30 minutes. 7) Shorts: Marmot Arch Rock Shorts Since I purchased these shorts, I haven’t taken a day hike without them. They’re so lightweight and comfortable, I jumped into the water with them. Shortly after, they were completely dry. The pocket space is limited, but I didn’t really care because I had plenty of room in my pack. 8) Sunscreen: Goddess Garden Sport Natural Sunscreen Spray Close to the creek, there’s plenty of tree coverage, but the majority of the hike you’re trekking through an uncovered, sun-baked trail. Even if you’re the type of person that doesn’t burn easily, always pack some sunscreen just in case. What I like about Goddess Garden’s Natural spray is that it doesn’t smell like aerosol, plus you’re not left feeling greasy upon application. Get To It This is a hike a lot of people underestimate, but with the above gear, you should be able to handle whatever the trail throws at you. Now get some friends together this weekend and head out to Fossil Creek before the crowds start building up.