Two popular mountains in Phoenix will be temporarily closed due to heat this weekend
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Hikers hoping to hit the trails on two popular Phoenix mountains in the late morning or afternoon on Saturday and Sunday will have to make other plans. Camelback Mountain’s Echo and Cholla trails and trails connected to Piestewa Peak Trailhead will be closed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. That’s because the National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for Saturday and Sunday. Signs will be posted reminding people of the closure, and the parking lot gates will be closed.
Nearly a year ago, the City of Phoenix started a pilot program where the officials would temporarily shut down those trails during the days when an excessive heat warning is in effect. The move came after two firefighters were hospitalized in June 2021 after multiple mountain rescues in the extreme heat. On July 30, 2021, a woman from out of town died in the heat while hiking Camelback Mountain. The City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department made the program permanent in October. “We did have positive results. We had a decline in mountain rescues,” Phoenix Fire Capt. Todd Keller said. Firefighters say the department responds to more than 200 mountain rescues per year.
Park rangers have said they’ll try to educate people, but they can give out citations. It would be a class one misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $2,500 and six months in jail. As for the other hiking spots in Phoenix, those trails will remain open. They’re less strenuous and populated compared to Camelback and Piestewa. For more information, click/tap here.
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