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Midgley Bridge Gets Public Restroom

Sedona 89 A Midgely Bridge

Sedona SR 89A Midgely Bridge

Sedona AZ (April 30, 2014) – Visitors will have no reason to step behind the bushes at Midgley Bridge Overlook, a popular Sedona tourist site. A new public restroom will soon be available, the first construction of a public toilet along the Oak Creek Corridor since 2007.

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS), in partnership with the Oak Creek Watershed Council (OCWC), is in the process of installing a vault toilet system just beyond the Midgley Bridge parking lot area. A decomposed granite accessible pathway leads to the new toilet, just before the existing Ramada overlooking Wilson Canyon.

After the Cinco de Mayo celebrations of 2012, USFS, AZGF and the OCWC removed over 450 pounds of trash from the Midgley Bridge Overlook and creek side recreational area. The trash included an ample supply of used toilet paper, heaps of human feces, cans and broken glass. This alarming amount of trash and feces from a single weekend prompted the USFS to organize a meeting of other agencies and organizations in order to mitigate this problem.

The area below the Midgley Bridge Overlook is separated from the Sedona drinking water aquifer by only tens of feet. With record numbers of visitors, and high levels of E. coli exceedances in Oak Creek, restroom toilets are vital to public health and the sustainable future of Oak Creek.

The toilet system makes its debut only one month after the USFS ban on glass within 200 feet of Oak Creek, except in designated campgrounds and picnic areas. Visitors should note the seriousness of the glass ban – violators will face fines up to $5000 and six months in jail.

Although the vault toilet system may not be opened by Cinco de Mayo weekend and the parking lot remains barricaded on AZ State Highway 89A, the Oak Creek Watershed Council would like those who decide to recreate beneath Midgley Bridge regardless to keep in mind there are no garbage cans by the Creek, and there is no housekeeping service in the forest. Pick it up, pack it up, leave nothing behind!

Every visitor must leave no trace! With the new toilet, glass ban and more awareness, OCWC and the USFS expect to see a marked reduction in litter and fecal matter.

The Midgley Bridge vault toilet project is funded by a Water Quality Improvement grant from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) through the federal Clean Water Act administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Oak Creek Watershed Council is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) corporation and is dedicated to maintaining a standard of excellence for watershed stewardship, as well as preserving the integrity of Oak Creek, and its tributaries.

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For the best in Arizona news and views, read www.SedonaEye.com daily!


  1. Peggy Rivera says:

    Yay! It needs one. People would hike and picnic there longer and would not have to find a tree or bush in an emergency. The parking lot is tiny, but I don’t see any way around that with the way the terrain is formed there.

  2. Linda Hersey says:

    Liked this article on Facebook.

  3. Jean says:

    The Sedona City Council has approved over $200K in handouts ($10K + $195K) for the Oak Creek Watershed Council. In addition to water testing, the formerly volunteer OCWC now wants to pay its Director and Assistant Director.

    IMO, under the current Mayor and City Manager, more and more entities are hoping to tap City taxpayer funds to help pay for what they are doing–even those working regionally. The Oak Creek Watershed Council’s efforts involve the entire length of Oak Creek.

    The Forest Service should be paying the cost of the new Midgley Bridge restroom by itself.

  4. Jack says:

    Does anyone have a total amount of “incorporated Sedona City” funding to non city activities? Love to see a list of all the regional – nonprofits giving money from the city. City managment is out to lunch. They give away to much. NO needs to be learned, TRANSPARENCY Please! Can someone please post a list? @Eddie @Jean @richard

  5. Tom G says:

    Right on Jean! I’m a proud tea party member as well and don’t want my Hard Earned tax dollars being spent so some freeloaders can use a toliet!! I say let em piss in the woods and leave my tax dollars alone!!

  6. Eddie says:


    Except for managing my own finances, living within my own budget, and balancing my own checkbook, I must defer to Jean, Richard, and others who are far more capable at furnishing the details of the city budget which you requested.

    My concern about the increasingly common practice of “regional” funding is based on the premise of why Sedona incorporated in the first place. To my knowledge it was to establish government and related services, achieve goals ascertained by the voting residents, and assume financial responsibilities within the confines of the designated area, clearly defined on maps and by City Limit signs placed on the State highways.

    Is there really a method short of perhaps a detailed audit to ascertain how much of the city funding to the Chamber of Commerce is spent on “regional” businesses and services? (Those who contribute nothing to city coffers except possibly a vacant commitment to share their customers.)

    As collaborative groups are now organizing, it amounts to “double dipping” in many instances since funding individual participants becomes part of the package.

    As our school and fire districts are financed by voter approved bonds unrelated to city tax revenues, it makes no sense to me why Sedona City Council continues to approve additional funding for school district activities.

    In my opinion, even one single penny of city tax dollars spent on regional entities is literally “out of bounds.” However, it appears word is out and how quickly the lines for hand-outs are increasing. Of course, conveniently the name “Sedona” is frequently linked with these regional ventures because, as I was told by a Yavapai County employee who was researching illegal short-term rentals, the word “Sedona” is a lightening rod to attract “takers” when advertising short term rentals which, same as Sedona City, is against the law in Yavapai County.

    Bottom line: What has happened to the word “no” when it comes down to those asking for money? However, when asked if monthly sewer fees should remain pat, the answer to that has become an easy “No” as the march to finance the “region” and sock it to the residents has become a way of life for those presently calling the shots. Again, my opinion.

  7. julie says:

    Thank you Jean. I agree the forest service has plently of thier own money. City should only be funding city items. Period.

    They can afford to put in bathrooms on their own.

  8. And how is what’s going on in Sedona any different than national politics? Just another case of “the cobbler’s children have no shoes.”

    Don’t forget that Sedona businesses within city limits are suffering from high sales and rental taxes plus exorbitant monthly sewer fees. Yep, give money to competition, watch more Sedona businesses close their doors, feed the greedy chamber of commerce. Business as usual.

    Oh for the record, I’m not one of those tea party people that some joker accuses all of being who don’t agree with him. In fact, I’m one of those alien Independents who is presently a victim of becoming disenfranchised to vote in the August election unless I declare a national political party. Fat chance.

  9. So, businesses in the City must pay per use with regards to their toilets. But the City can just give money towards a free crap-hole outside the City?

    It won’t be long before those businesses that remain implement “token toilets.” San Francisco does…

    Perhaps soon, there won’t be many businesses in Sedona left to have to worry about how they are going to be able to afford the over inflated sewer fees and bed taxes.

    Why not have the toilet at Midgley be a quarter per turn? If the expenses and taxes have to be so high, why not have the tourists “pay per use” instead of the brick and mortar businesses? ….Why must anyone (residents or tourists) pay excessively engorged taxes and support the obscene six-figure wage earnings of the City employees?

    Is it only me that thinks that money that is collected from tax payers and tourists IN and FOR the City should be SPENT ….. IN and FOR the City? Shouldn’t it go towards boosting or supporting those businesses solely in the City?

    Wait….maybe the City of Sedona’s wasted, waste water from the Splash Pad will go towards flushing all the CRAP that the City is selling? The City seems to be flushing a lot of tax payer money down the toilet.

    Change is needed. There are still good people out there. Those good people just need to stand tall together and can make a change. A great start is by voting NO on HOME RULE.

  10. Restroom = parking pass needed. Do you get it?
    They will continue placing restrooms until parking passes are needed everywhere once again. Then ask for volunteers to clean it up.

    Please stop griping about participating outside of the city.
    Even the VOC/Big Park is now ready to open its own Chamber of Commerce. They finally realize that Sedona is not the end all be all in Verde Valley. So does Cottonwood, Jerome, Cornville, Camp Verde. When everyone leaves with their marbles, you are going to be left standing with no one to play with.

  11. Joe says:

    So VOC/Big Park is getting their own Chamber of Commerce? Great news but it won’t matter to the overinflated egos at the Sedona Oak Creek Canyon Chamber of Commerce. Just recently they actually had the audacity to start a campaign for reforming immigration laws. So Verde Valley isn’t enough for them? They intend to take over all of Arizona before moving their headquarters to Washington DC. That would be a happy day. To see them pack up and move OUT!

    No matter what you guys out there do the SOC Chamber of Commerce will take full credit. And the City staff and council believe them. Maybe Sedona city limit businesses can join the outlying Chambers and actually get some publicity. Except for a select few, most do not even get mentioned even if they’re dumb enough to be members. About all they can rely on is a swift kick to the curb.

    Good for you. Seriously.

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