- Lot 1: Waterfall
- Lot 2: Irving
- Lot 3: Tonto Bench
- Lot 4: Fossil Creek Bridge
- Lot 5: Homestead
- Lot 6: Sally May
- Lot 7: Purple Mountain
- Lot 8: Mazatzal
Permits for Lot 9 (formerly the Fossil Springs Trail) must be reserved through the Bob Bear Trailhead permit page by searching “Bob Bear Trailhead” at www.recreation.gov or calling (877) 444-6777.Visitors who reserve the Bob Bear Trailhead permit must be prepared to do a strenuous, steep, and difficult 4-mile hike to reach Fossil Creek from the trailhead (8 miles roundtrip). The Bob Bear Trailhead can only be accessed from Strawberry off state Route 87 to Forest Road 708 and is often very hot, dry, and not recommended for anyone other than the experienced and prepared hiker. Horse trailer parking continues to be available at this trailhead.Reservations are not available or required during the Fall-Winter Season, and parking and sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
VEHICLES: High-clearance vehicles are recommended to travel from SR 260 down the 14-mile rough dirt Forest Road 708 to the main entrance of the Fossil Creek corridor. It is not uncommon for standard passenger vehicles to incur flat tires on the rugged roadway.
COST: The $6 permit is non-refundable (except when Forest Service closes the road due to weather). If you are not able to use your permit, however, please cancel it online to make your parking space available for others.
PERMIT TYPE: Three permit types are available to reserve: 1. Vehicle Parking (includes Waterfall Trailhead, Irving, Tonto Bench, Fossil Creek Bridge, Homestead, Sally May, Purple Mountain and Mazatzal parking lots), 2. Park and 8-Mile Hike (Fossil Springs Trailhead), and 3. Horse Trailer Parking (Fossil Springs Trailhead).
PERMIT DOCUMENTATION: People reserving a permit MUST PRINT THEIR PERMIT IN ADVANCE to place on their dashboards upon entrance to Fossil Creek. Permits can be printed immediately upon making a reservation online. (The confirmation email the customer receives is NOT the permit.)
AT THE GATE: No permits are sold or able to be printed on site.
CLOSED PORTION OF FR 708: A 4-mile section of Forest Road 708 from the Fossil Springs Trailhead to the Waterfall Trailhead is closed for vehicle travel due to unsafe road conditions; therefore, it is not possible to drive in one entrance and out the other (from Camp Verde to Strawberry or vice versa). The only direct access to Fossil Creek by vehicle is from the Camp Verde side.
FOSSIL SPRING HIKE: Those intending to hike the Fossil Springs Trail must drive in through the Strawberry entrance. The strenuous hike to Fossil Springs is 4 miles one way with an elevation change of 1,700 feet. Summer daytime temperatures regularly exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. No water is available along the trail, so hikers must carry at least one gallon of water per person and wear proper hiking shoes. This hike should not be used to access the Waterfall area or middle Fossil Creek.
CAMPING: No camping is allowed within the Fossil Creek Permit Area during the May 1 to Oct. 1 permit reservation season, but is allowed downstream of Fossil Creek Bridge (at Mazatzal, Purple Mountain, Sally May and Homestead) and upstream of the historic dam site in the backcountry from Oct. 2 to April 30.
RULES and REGULATIONS: Please pack out what you pack in. Campfires, charcoal grills and all glass containers are prohibited year round. Gas operated grills and stoves are acceptable.
For more information about visiting Fossil Creek, please see http://tinyurl.com/