Fossil Creek's permit-required season begins

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You can now make reservations to visit Fossil Creek in April with the start of the permit-required season. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) You can now make reservations to visit Fossil Creek in April with the start of the permit-required season. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

You can now make reservations to visit Fossil Creek in April with the start of the permit-required season.

Reservations and permits will be required between April 1 and Sept. 30 in 2018 for day-use visitation in the Fossil Creek Permit Area, located within the Coconino and the Tonto national forests.

On the first of each month, reservations open for the following month. For example, April reservations just opened as of March 1 and May reservations will open on April 1. 

[RELATED: Fossil Creek: Arizona gem is perfect summer escape from Phoenix]

Reservations are not available or required during the fall and winter season, and parking and sites are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

To make a reservation, search "Fossil Creek Wild and Scenic River" at www.recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777.

Permits cost $10, entitling the permit holder to a single-day pass that reserves a parking spot for the day in a specific parking lot.

Parking permit locations within the main river corridor are accessible through Camp Verde on Highway 260 to Forest Road 708.

[MAP: Fossil Creek]

Permits are available for the Fossil Creek Trailhead parking lot through a "Park and 8-mile Hike" permit or a horse trailer parking permit. With this permit, visitors should prepare for an eight-mile roundtrip hike if seeking water access and should enter through Strawberry off of Highway 87.

The permit system was put in place in 2016 to manage the high recreational use of Fossil Creek. The system allows for 148 designated parking sports or approximately 740 visitors per day.

[SLIDESHOW: Gorgeous photos!]

“The reservation system was very successful last summer. The amount of trash, the numbers of vehicles waiting to park, and the volume of law enforcement incidents all declined substantially, and visitors were very happy to know they had a guaranteed parking spot,” said Nicole Branton, district ranger for the Red Rock Ranger District. “By making a reservation in advance, people can avoid driving long distances to get to Fossil Creek, only to be turned around because the area is full.”

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