How to get a permit for Fossil Creek

Parking lot at Fossil Creek
One of nine parking lots at Fossil Creek that require a permit.

Beginning in 2017, the U.S. Forest Service requires a permit to enter the section of Arizona’s Fossil Creek that has been designated as a Wild and Scenic River. That’s the section most people want to visit.

Details about Fossil Creek permits:

  • Required April 1 through October 1 only
  • Cost is $10 (subject to change)
  • Provides access one parking spot in a specific lot (there are 9 lots)
  • Available online only at
  • Permits go on sale on the first of each month for the following month
  • Only one permit may be reserved per person per calendar month

The entrance gate is only open between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Once inside the gate, you can depart as late as 8 p.m.

A permit is not required to visit Fossil Creek between October 2 and March 31.

For more details, visit

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