FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., June 21, 2021 — Due to fire danger, dry conditions, and persistent wildfire activity during a time when firefighting resources are sparse, the entirety of Coconino National Forest will close for public safety, beginning Wednesday (June 23) at 8 a.m.
A full forest closure means that the public is prohibited from entering any part of Coconino National Forest at any time. Only those with private inholdings will be allowed access to their property, as well as personnel providing utility support where necessary, and firefighters performing their duties.
Forest Service personnel will attempt to reach as many people as possible to begin vacating campsites and informing individuals who are camping in the forest currently. Campers and visitors to the national forest should vacate their campsites before the closure begins, and the public should cancel any plans for visiting the Coconino National Forest for the next several weeks.
Though parts of the national forest may receive rain from sporadic storms over the next couple of weeks, this closure will not be rescinded until sufficient precipitation is received to adequately reduce the risk of wildfire, and hot, dry weather conditions are no longer forecast to continue. In short, this closure will continue until conditions are such that the closure can be lifted.
Work on thinning and other forest and watershed restoration projects will cease. Partner agencies, organizations, concessionaires, outfitters, permit holders, and contractors, are all prohibited from entering the national forest.
Violating closures and fire restrictions is a violation that carries a mandatory appearance in federal court, punishable as a Class B misdemeanor with a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or up to six months in prison, or both.
When will Hiking Trails Reopen in Sedona?
The Coconino National Forest is now closed for an undetermined amount of time. This means that ALL hiking trails in the Sedona Area are now closed. Slide Rock State Park is also temporarily closed. If you choose to ignore the forest closure, you risk violating federal laws with fines of $5000 or more and jail time. The best chance of the forest reopening in the near future is if there is significant rainfall. Hopefully the upcoming monsoon season will be a good one.
In the meantime, there are many activities besides hiking. Check out our list of Best Scenic Drives. We highlight some of the different areas of Sedona with great red rock views. Some drives may be temporarily closed during this time, so check out the Arizona Department of Transportation’s website az511.gov for current road conditions. The shopping centers will stay open too. Our list of Shopping Centers will show you the best places to shop and the best places to eat out.
Here’s some other ideas if you choose to still visit Sedona during this time. Always check websites for current information about their closures.
Red Rock State Park is still open, but check their website for closures.
Chapel of the Holy Cross remains open daily.
Check out our list of great locations for delicious ice cream and gelato or our list of local favorite bars and nightlife.
Try taking your adventure to Cottonwood, Camp Verde or Jerome? There’s a lot to do near Sedona besides hiking.