Bad news if you’re headed to Oak Creek Canyon this holiday weekend. From our friends at the U.S. Forest Service:
SEDONA, Ariz. – The Coconino National Forest has expanded the Slide Fire emergency closure area to include all National Forest land within Oak Creek Canyon beginning Thursday (July 3).
The closure is being implemented for public safety due to the risks associated with flooding from monsoon, debris flow and the limited ability to quickly inform and evacuate people along Oak Creek if a flood event were to occur.
The closure boundary expansion will include all National Forest land within Oak Creek Canyon from the northern switchbacks to an area near the southern Huckaby trailhead at Schnebly Hill Road. All developed recreation sites and vehicle pullouts along State Route 89A will be closed. To view the official Closure Order and a map of the entire closure area, visit http://tinyurl.com/nmwp8co.
The closure only affects National Forest land, roads, and trails within the closure area on the Coconino National Forest. The closure does not affect any private, state, county, or other non-National Forest lands or roads within the closure boundary.
Additionally, the public water Sterling Springs standpipe in Oak Creek Canyon has been shut off to protect the water system from potential contamination, silt and debris during flooding.
The following information sources have been established for the public to obtain information about the status of Oak Creek Canyon and preparing for possible monsoon flooding in the canyon:
Oak Creek Canyon Information Hotline: 928-203-7505
Coconino County’s Slide Fire Area Monsoon Flood Preparation web page: http://www.coconino.az.gov/slidefloodinformation.
For visitors looking who had plans to visit Oak Creek Canyon during this time of the year, alternatives to recreating at Oak Creek Canyon can be found online at http://tinyurl.com/n2lfxto.