As the weather warms up and daydreams of Fossil Creek’s pristine waters begin, visitors are reminded they must get a printed permit to park and hike beginning May 1.
Online reservations start April 1. A printed permit is required May 1 through Oct. 1 for day-use in the Fossil Creek Permit Area.
This year’s reservation season will begin one month later than last year due to administration delays.
On the first of each month, reservations open for the following month (May reservations open April 1, June reservations open May 1, etc.). Reservations are not required during the fall-winter season.
Access the reservation system online by searching “Fossil Creek Wild and Scenic River” at www.recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777, beginning April 1.
Permits are $6 and entitle the permit holder to a single day pass which reserves a parking spot in a specific parking lot.
The fee is less than the $10 per reservation cost last year.
Visitors must print their permit before arriving and may only park in the Fossil Creek parking lot assigned on their parking pass.
Parking permit locations within the main river corridor include: Mazatzal, Purple Mountain, Sally May, Homestead, Fossil Creek Bridge, Tonto Bench, Irving, and the Waterfall Trailhead.
To access these parking locations, visitors should enter through Camp Verde on state Route 260 to Forest Road 708 (aka Fossil Creek Road).
In addition, permits can be reserved for the Fossil Springs Trailhead parking lot through a “Park and 8-mile Hike” permit or a horse trailer parking permit.
Visitors seeking to reserve the Fossil Springs Trailhead permit should be prepared to do an 8-mile round-trip strenuous hike if seeking water access and should enter through Strawberry off of State Route 87.
For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/GoToFossilCreek.