Fossil Creek reopens after being closed for 16 months due to wildfire

FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – After a 16-month closure due to a wildfire, the Fossil Creek Recreation Area in Coconino County announced its reopening on Friday.

This includes all areas of the Fossil Creek sites, including the Childs scattered camping area. Sycamore Canyon has also reopened. Additionally, the Dixon Lewis Trail, formerly known as the Waterfall Trail, will reopen later this month once repairs are complete. “This area is special for so many people, and we appreciate the public’s patience as they recover,” Assistant District Ranger Alex Schlueter said. “This recovery continues for both Fossil Creek and Sycamore Canyon, but we are excited to welcome visitors back.”

Fossil Creek closed in June 2021 due to Backbone Fire impacts. The closure allowed the landscape to recover from the damage caused by the fires and the monsoon. Roads were also repaired during this time to help with visitor safety.

Coconino National Forest says Fossil Creek will likely close temporarily in early 2023 to complete the resurfacing of Forest Route 708. A future closure during the 2023 monsoon season (June through October) is also planned.

No permits are currently required to visit the Fossil Creek area, but will be from April 1, 2023. Permits will be available for purchase from March 1, 2023, at

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