SEDONA – On Thursday, the Red Rock Ranger District of Coconino National Forest announced that it is in the process of closing its highest-use destinations and day-use sites in the Sedona area. The closures are due to the fact that large numbers of people are hiking, congregating, and not practicing social distancing.
Forest Service employees and law enforcement officers will patrol the areas closed, and citations will be given to those who ignore the closures. Even though these popular destinations are closing, Coconino National Forest includes nearly 2 million acres of dispersed recreational opportunities across three districts.
“We are doing our best to balance the opportunities available for the public to recreate on the Forest, while helping lower the COVID-19 curve,” said Red Rock District Ranger Amy Tinderholt. “The crowds that we saw last weekend, and conversation with local leaders about the concern that continued influx of tourism has on their local heath and emergency services, solidified our decision to move forward. We will keep evaluating areas and may have additional closures in the future, but that will largely depend upon the public doing their part to avoid crowds and flatten the curve.”
In coordination with Verde Valley and Sedona civic leaders, the following trails and day-use sites will be closed this weekend, until further notice:
● Beaver Creek Day-Use Site
● Bell Rock Trailhead
● Cathedral Rock Trailhead and Trail
● Courthouse Vista Trailhead
● Crescent Moon Day-Use Site
● Devil’s Bridge Trail, including OHV access and surrounding associated trails:
● Dry Creek Trailhead
● Long Canyon Trailhead
● Mescal Trailhead
● West Fork Trailhead and Trail