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Phoenix Considering Expanding Trail Closures Time Period During Heat Warnings

By on January 27, 2023 0 175Views

All too soon we will be trading in the chilly morning weather for sunshine and heat and the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department is planning to ahead to protect hikers and paramedics from the dangerous extreme conditions.

Currently Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain closes the hiking trails from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on days that the National Weather Service declares a heat warning. The City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department is considering expanding the trail closures hours during extreme heat.

Phoenix is looking at the possibility of closing the trails two hours earlier,  9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — on the days the extreme heat warnings are issued.

The trail closure pilot program went into effect in 2021. Since the new trail closures plan was implemented, officials have seen a decrease in the number of mountain rescues that have been performed.

The thought behind the consideration is that Phoenix rescue teams have seen more required rescues between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.  Hikers are accessing the trail before the set 11 a.m. closure and ultimately end up in dangerous situation where they need help.

The city finds that many tourists visiting the valley want to take in the beauties of the desert and don’t have the knowledge of the dangers of exercising in extreme heat.

The city is asking for the community’s input on this decision. If you would like to provide your opinion click here.