As peak hiking season approaches, Phoenix parks face congestion

Nov 26, 2014, 6:41 AM | Updated: 6:41 pm
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PHOENIX — With the peak hiking season approaching in Phoenix, the city has some advice for beating the rush.

Gregg Bach with the Parks and Recreation Department said more people will be out enjoying the city’s parks as the whether cools.

“Starting here kind of in October (and) November when the weather gets nicer, all the way through early spring, is when we see an uptick at all those trails and nature preserves throughout the city,” he said.

“Camelback Mountain and Echo Canyon Park is one of the areas where we see our highest volume.”

Bach said the Echo Canyon Recreation Area is by far the most popular hiking destination in Phoenix, but with limited parking, it quickly becomes congested.

Since park rangers will be closing the gate into the parking lot when it becomes full, Bach reminds people not to idle in the streets leading up to the lot or in the roundabout, as police will be issuing tickets.

“If you’re idling on those streets, they’ll ticket you, (and) if you’re illegally parked on one of those areas, you could get towed,” he said.

Bach said there are a few good ways to beat the crowd, and he recommends people think about visiting one of Phoenix’s other parks as an alternative.

“We have so many other parks and trails that don’t get a lot of use,” he said. “We have over 200 miles of trails and 40 trails total, and Echo Canyon Park is just one of those and is about a mile and a half, so if people are looking to escape some of that congestion and escape the crowds, there are a lot of other options.”

For those planning on visiting Echo Canyon Park, Bach said he recommends carpooling, or parking offsite and biking or walking to the trail.

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As peak hiking season approaches, Phoenix parks face congestion