Select hiking trails in the city of Phoenix will be closed when the National Weather Service issues an Excessive Heat Watch.
The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board recently approved a pilot program through which certain trails will be closed in these situations through Sept. 30. The decision was made out of concerns for the public and first responders’ safety.
Through Sept. 30 Camelback Mountain’s Echo Canyon Trail and Cholla Trail and all trails associated with Piestewa Peak Trailhead in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve will be closed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on days when an Excessive Heat Watch is in place. Cholla Trail on Camelback Mountain was closed as of press time. These locations were selected based on the number of mountain rescues that take place there every year, as well as the difficulty rating of those trails and how that affects the complexity of rescues.
When the trail access is restricted parking lot gates will be closed and signage will be erected. Closure information also will be released through the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department’s website and social media accounts and to local hotels and resorts. Phoenix Park Rangers also will be visible at those spots to remind and teach trail users about the restrictions.
During the warm weather months, regardless of whether there is an Excessive Heat Watch in effect, trail users are urged to only hike during the early morning or evening hours when it is cooler and more shade is available.
To learn more, visit www.phoenix.gov/parks.