The City of Phoenix is closing a number of popular hiking trails during excessively hot days this summer.
Hiking trails around the valley will close on days when the National Weather Service issues excessive heat warnings. Closures on these days will apply from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Camelback Mountain’s Cholla and Echo trails, as well as all trails connecting to the Piestewa Peak trailhead.
The closures were first implemented as part of a pilot program last summer, leading the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board to adopt the program in October. Adam Waltz of Parks and Recreation says the closures have hikers and first responders in mind.
“It’s a good thing for our first responders because the trails that are closed are very popular, they’re very beautiful once you get to the top,” Waltz said. “But they are also very difficult.”
At this time, Waltz says there are no plans to close any additional trails in the Phoenix area.
“You still have hiking options,” Waltz said. “We obviously want you to avoid extreme heat in any form on any trail, make sure you have plenty of water, hike with a buddy.”
According to Phoenix Parks and Recreation, the parking lots will be open two additional hours to encourage hiking after 7 p.m.