Officials crack down on illegal parking near Camelback Mountain



Video report by Karen Brown

Posted on March 7, 2014 at 8:51 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 11 at 1:40 PM

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PHOENIX -- Phoenix and Paradise Valley officials are cracking down on illegal parking and stopping around Camelback Mountain.

The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department announced Friday that law enforcement personnel will be ticketing drivers and towing vehicles in violation of traffic laws in the area.

The department said the crackdown is a result of many hikers illegally parking their cars along McDonald Drive or blocking traffic while waiting for spaces to open up in the parking lot at the Echo Canyon Trail entrance.

Echo Canyon Trail recently reopened after after a year-long renovation project that included expanding the parking lot.

"It's still a challenge getting here just because of the sheer volume of people," Phoenix Park Ranger Cody Huggins said.

Huggins added that Camelback Mountain is probably seeing even more traffic than usual because many people are in town for spring training games.

"It's a little bit of a hassle," said Courtney Houstead, who hikes Echo Canyon Trail regularly. "I think we parked about a 15-minute walk away from here."

Phoenix and Paradise Valley officials have already added signage and increased the law enforcement presence in the area but said the warnings have been ignored by many hikers.

"A lady drove by and asked us if we knew where she could park because the lot here was full and actually as she was talking to us, a policeman stopped and put his siren on and told her to keep moving," said Lila Garrett, who was visiting Phoenix from Connecticut.

Camelback Mountain visitors who encounter a closed parking lot are required to leave the area completely and return later.

For information on how to avoid traffic congestion around Camelback Mountain, visit the Parks and Recreation Department website.