Big fan of this plan. Like any place you want to be, too many folks from the valley come up, trash the place then leave a mess. Sure, it kind of sucks for folks that are responsible. But, face it, the world has changed. Fossil Creek is an interesting place that needs some limits. Here is the press info. Hope it solves some of the woes.
Required parking permit starts Sunday, May 1, 2016 for Fossil Creek area
Release Date: Apr 29, 2016
Contact(s): Media Contact: George Jozens 928-527-3412, Media Contact: Brady Smith 928-527-3490
- Parking permits must be reserved in advance at Recreation.gov.
- Permits must be printed before arriving at Fossil Creek.
- Permits cannot be purchased in person. Due to the remoteness of Fossil Creek, there are no facilities for issuing permits.
Camp Verde, Arizona — The Coconino and Tonto National Forests now requires visitors to use a reservation system, starting Sunday, May 1 to park in the Fossil Creek area (Fossil Creek Wild and Scenic River, AZ). The system will help manage the area better and allow people to reserve parking spots for the day during busy summer months.
The public must reserve a parking permit to visit the area by vehicle. The reservation system can be accessed online at Recreation.gov, which allows the public to purchase a parking permit for $6 for the Fossil Creek Wild and Scenic River, AZ, entitling the permit holder to a single day parking pass and reserve a parking spot for the day. Reservations can also be made by calling 877-444-6777. The permits will only be required from May 1 to October 1 in 2016 and from April 1 to October 1 starting in 2017 and future years. Visitors to Fossil Creek will not be required to obtain a permit and parking pass during other months of the year.
There are approximately 148 designated parking spaces within the permit area, which equates to having about 740 visitors per day within the permit area. Parking locations include Fossil Springs Trailhead, Waterfall Trailhead, Irving, Tonto Bench, Fossil Creek Bridge, Homestead, Sally May, Purple Mountain and Mazatzal.
“An increase in use and over-crowded conditions at the Fossil Creek and Fossil Springs area during summer months created traffic problems and safety issues for visitors to the area, which is why this reservation system is necessary,” said Nicole Branton, district ranger for the Red Rock Ranger District. “Reservations will serve the public better because they will know if the area is full to capacity by whether or not there are permits available online. This means they won’t have to spend time driving long distances to get to Fossil Creek, only to be turned around because the area is full.”
During the summer of 2015, the area had reached full capacity by 7 a.m. on most weekends, and hundreds of people were being turned away each day. Many of the visitors had driven more than two hours to reach Fossil Creek and expressed strong support for a reservation system that would guarantee entrance to the creek upon arrival.
Individuals who are 18 years or older can make reservations to visit Fossil Creek up to six months in advance and may only park in the parking lot assigned on their parking pass for the day reserved. Only six reservations per year are allowed per person per season.