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City of Phoenix limits access on trails amid coronavirus concerns

(Flickr/Jeff Turner)

PHOENIX — The City of Phoenix this weekend began limiting access to various hiking destinations in order to promote social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Five of the city’s high-traffic hiking destinations will have limited access, and the visibility of park rangers and city staff at those locations will increase to resolve issues with vehicle and foot traffic.

The impacted areas are Hole in the Rock at Papago Park, the Echo Canyon Trailhead and Cholla Trail at Camelback Mountain, Piestewa Peak Trailhead, and Pima County Trailhead and Dobbins Lookout at South Mountain Park.

Trail usage for Hole in the Rock nearly tripled over the last three weeks compared to the same period in 2019, according to the city.

The main parking lot for Hole in the Rock will be closed and access by hikers will be limited to resolve overcrowding, along with traffic and parking controls at the Echo Canyon Trailhead, Piestewa Peak Trailhead, and Pima Canyon Trailhead.

Vehicle access on Summit Rd. at Dobbins Lookout will be controlled.

Other parking lots, trails and access points at Papago Park will be open, as the city asks for drivers to be respectful if parking in the surrounding neighborhoods of the trails and be aware of any street parking restrictions.

The city is monitoring foot traffic at other trail locations, and additional limits could be placed if needed.

Hikers are advised to use another trail or visit a different trailhead if they see a busy area.

All city-run parks, sports complexes and golf courses have remained open with normal hours of operation.

The Cholla Trail at Camelback Mountain, meanwhile, is closed for approximately the next two weeks due to rock remediation and trail maintenance following the recent rain.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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