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USFS Evaluating Trail and Trailhead Closures during pandemic

Sedona AZTo continue measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, Sedona Mayor Sandy Moriarty, along with other Verde Valley and Yavapai County leaders, are in preliminary discussions with the U.S. Forest Service Red Rock Ranger District management to evaluate closing the most popular trails and trailheads where social distancing is not being practiced.

The Red Rock Ranger District Manager Amy Tinderholt and Coconino National Forest Supervisor Laura Jo West expressed a desire to work collectively with local jurisdictions to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Despite over 75 percent of Americans under some form of lockdown order and with Arizona under its own stay-at-home order until April 30, 2020, the Red Rock Ranger District reports high usage of popular trails and much higher than normal usage of dispersed camping. The Forest Service has already closed certain active management areas such as the campgrounds in Oak Creek Canyon.

In the coming days, Red Rock Ranger District management is committed to evaluating destinations, areas and trails with concentrations of people and moving forward with strong measures including potential additional closures of sites, areas, and trails.

With popular trails and trailheads closed, the Sedona mayor hopes visitors would be more inclined to heed state orders for their residents to stay home, adding, “All those wanting to visit Sedona should stay home and reschedule for another time. We cannot afford to risk the capacity of our local hospitals or the lives of our healthcare workers and vulnerable citizens because people want to take a vacation.”

The city recognizes that in accordance with Governor Doug Ducey’s stay-at-home order, keeping trails open is important to mental health in these challenging times, but ultimately action may be needed for the overall safety of the community.

More information and exact details will be released in coordination with the Red Rock Ranger District in the coming days on trails and trailhead closures.

To learn more information on the city of Sedona response to COVID-19, and what resources are available for the community and businesses, go to www.sedonaaz.gov/covid19. For questions, email questions@sedonaaz.gov.

Health resources

Look to the following CDC, state and county resources for more information on COVID-19:

The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America.
Coconino County Health and Human Services COVID-19 hotline: 928-679-7300 and website.
Yavapai County Health Services hotline: 928-442-5103 and website.
Coconino County COVID-19 testing information.
Statewide hotline on all COVID-19-related issues: Dial 211.
CDC website on coronavirus.
Tips on coronavirus prevention and 10 ways to manage respiratory symptoms at home.
Arizona Department of Health and Human Services information.
CDC travel notices.



  1. Hajj Notice says:

    Saudi Arabia has barred people from entering or exiting three major cities, including Mecca and Medina, and imposed a nighttime curfew across the country. Like other countries around the world and in the Middle East, the kingdom also suspended all inbound and outbound commercial flights. Last year 2 million people performed the pilgrimage required of all Muslims once during their lifetime. Tour operators are being advised accordingly.

  2. AZ State Parks and Trails Notice says:

    Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19 and guidelines from the CDC and Arizona Department of Health Services, we will be postponing or cancelling all park events through May 8, 2020.

    Visit our website for information.

  3. WHAT"S THE RUSH says:

    Why not wait a few more months?

  4. Bruce says:

    Isn’t that the question?

  5. Jeff says:

    stop bill gates from hiking here.

  6. Grand Canyon Closure Approved says:

    COVID-19 cases projected by Coconino County in a renewed request to shut down Grand Canyon National Park was met with federal government approval and the request was approved Wednesday.

  7. Rex says:

    Have to give the President his due. He’s doing right by all of us.

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