ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix board votes to restrict popular hiking trails during extreme heat

Oct 29, 2021, 7:45 AM | Updated: 12:10 pm

(City of Phoenix Photo)...

(City of Phoenix Photo)

(City of Phoenix Photo)

PHOENIX – Officials in Phoenix voted Thursday to fully adopt a policy limiting access to certain hiking trails in extreme heat.

The Phoenix Parks and Recreation board unanimously pushed through the measure, which will close trails at Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. any day an excessive heat warning is issued.

The policy was tested at Echo Canyon and Cholla Trail in the Camelback Mountains and the Piestewa Peak trails in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve from July 13 to Sept. 30.

The trial run began after nearly a dozen members of the Phoenix Fire Department were sent home after suffering heat exhaustion after making multiple hiker-related saves in a single day.

First responders said in September the program helped cut down on the number of mountain rescues they made on days of extreme heat.

The parks board said in a press release it will monitor rescue data as part of yearly evaluations.

Under the policy, parking lot gates will be closed whenever the National Weather Service issues an excessive heat warning.

Signs will be posted explaining the closure and park rangers will be on duty to answer questions.

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Phoenix board votes to restrict popular hiking trails during extreme heat