The Tonto National Forest, in coordination with the Coconino National Forest, will implement a temporary closure of Fossil Springs trailhead and trail to visitors from July 1, 2019, through August 31, 2019.
This Temporary closure is for the Fossil Springs Trail (TR18) which is accessed from Strawberry, AZ. All other areas of Fossil Creek accessed from Camp Verde remain open including: Waterfall Trailhead, Irving/Flume Trailhead, Tonto Bench, Fossil Creek Bridge, Homestead, Sally May, Purple Mountain and Mazatzal.
This emergency closure is needed to address the high risk of heat-related illness and injury experienced by hikers unprepared for the arduous hike from Fossil Springs trailhead to Fossil Creek along Trail 18 during hot summer months.
Local emergency responders have been strained by requests for assistance in past seasons, resulting in concerns from local citizens around emergency response services for local community fire and medical emergency calls.
The short-term goal is to reduce the burden on emergency responders and be responsive to safety concerns in a way that is environmentally and culturally responsible at this special place. A comprehensive plan for Fossil Creek is being developed to provide a wide variety of sustainable recreation uses over the long-term. Fossil Creek can still be accessed from Forest Road 708 off Highway 260 near Camp Verde.