ARIZONA NEWS

Select Phoenix hiking trails to be closed during extreme temperatures

Jul 14, 2021, 4:25 AM | Updated: 7:56 am
(City of Phoenix photo)...
(City of Phoenix photo)
(City of Phoenix photo)

PHOENIX — Select hiking trails in Phoenix will be closed during extreme temperatures due to concerns for the safety of the public and first responders, the city announced Tuesday night.

The decision was made by the city’s parks and recreation board during a special meeting to close Camelback Mountain’s Echo Canyon Trail and Cholla Trail, as well as all trails associated with Piestewa Peak Trailhead in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on days when the National Weather Service issues an excessive heat watch.

Trail closures during days of extreme heat will start Friday and run through Sept. 30 as part of a pilot program, according to a press release.

Camelback Mountain’s Cholla Trail is currently closed.

Parking lot gates will be closed and signage will be posted during times of extreme heat, and the city will provide closure information on its website and social media accounts.

Park rangers will also be visible at the locations to remind and educate trail users about the closures, according to the release.

The closures were requested by the United Phoenix Firefighters Association after 12 Phoenix firefighters had to be sent home from duty on June 16 with heat-related issues after performing three consecutive mountain rescues in less than 24 hours during an excessive heat warning.

Two of those firefighters had to be hospitalized with acute renal failure.

The union wanted access to be limited on the Cholla Trail Head and Echo Canyon Trail Head during times of extreme heat because rescues in those areas require the use of the city’s helicopter, which can’t be operated safely in temperatures of 116 degrees or higher.

It is recommended by parks and recreation officials that trail users hike in the early morning or evening during the Valley’s warm months, regardless of an excessive heat watch, since it is cooler and there is more shade.

Extended summer hours are in effect to encourage people to hike during those times from June through September at North Mountain Park and Piestewa Peak Trailhead in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, and ​Pima Canyon Trailhead in South Mountain Park/Preserve.

Parking lot entrances are open until 9 p.m. at those locations, while the trails are open until 11 p.m. The parking lots open at 5 a.m.

The city’s parks and recreation in collaboration with fire departments since 2015 have encouraged people to hike responsibly with a “Take a Hike. Do it Right.” campaign.

Potentially life-saving hiking guidelines in the campaign include watching the weather, dressing appropriately, bringing water, keeping in contact with a mobile phone, hiking with others, be honest about medical conditions, stay on designated trails and be prepared.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report. 

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

FILE - Arizona Corporation Commission Chairman Bob Burns smiles during a meeting, Thursday, June 20...
Associated Press

High court says lone Arizona regulator can seek utility records

The Arizona commission that regulates utilities cannot prevent a single member from issuing subpoenas to investigate companies that the panel oversees, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
8 hours ago
(Apache Junction Police Department photo)...
KTAR.com

Suspect in fatal shooting in Apache Junction turns himself over to police

A young man suspected of fatally shooting his brother in Apache Junction has turned himself over to authorities.
8 hours ago
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)...
Luke Forstner

Sheriffs suggest ways to tackle drugs and addiction in Arizona

With big fentanyl busts in the news and numbers up in Arizona, experts are talking about the best ways to address addiction.
8 hours ago
(AP Photo/John Locher, File)...
Wills Rice

Grand Canyon lifts parkwide water restrictions after weeks of shortages

The Grand Canyon National Park announced Tuesday that all water restrictions have been lifted.
8 hours ago
Abrazo Health released a rendering of its first phase of development set to begin in the coming mon...
KTAR.com

Abrazo Health to begin first phase of Buckeye medical building

Abrazo Health released a rendering of its first phase of development that'll bring its sixth major medical campus to the Valley.
8 hours ago
(Arizona Boardwalk Photo)...
KTAR.com

UFO exhibit beaming down to Arizona Boardwalk in Scottsdale in the fall

Space invaders have set their sights on Scottsdale this fall, but it's all perfectly safe.
8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Select Phoenix hiking trails to be closed during extreme temperatures