KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Online Reservations Now Required For Fossil Creek

Fossil Creek
Andrew Bernier/KJZZ
Fossil Creek in Coconino National Forest.

Last fall, there was talk of implementing an online reservation system to access Fossil Creek, which is located about 100 miles north of Phoenix. Coconino and Tonto National Forests have green lighted the idea and it’ll go into effect Tuesday.

With its blue-green water, swimming holes and waterfalls, it easy to understand why Fossil Creek is such a popular destination…so much so that people would come in the middle of the night to snag a parking spot.

That’s about to change.

Starting Tuesday, the public will have to make an online reservation and purchase a permit. There are 148 designated parking spots within the permit area. That equates to about 740 visitors per day.

The permits will only be required from May 1 through October 1 this year.

Last summer, Fossil Creek reached full capacity by 7 a.m. on most weekends and hundreds of people were turned away each day.

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.