Echo Canyon opening delayed

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
Crews have begun ramada construction at Camelback/Echo Canyon. Palo Verdes in foreground were salvaged, replanted. By Mike Gertzman Crews have begun ramada construction at Camelback/Echo Canyon. Palo Verdes in foreground were salvaged, replanted. By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- The opening of Echo Canyon at Camelback Mountain was supposed to happen Saturday.

Now, landscape architects with the City of Phoenix say there is no definite date to reopen the trail.

The $4.34 million renovation of Echo Canyon closed the McDonald entry in January, with an estimated Thanksgiving opening date. But that didn't happen, due to a hiccup with the contractors.

"They had a scheduling issue with securing the steel and building materials for the restroom, ramada, and the guard house. The rest of the project was fairly on track, but those building materials didn't show up until last week," said landscape architect Chris Ewell with the City of Phoenix.

It will take at least another five weeks before those buildings are constructed, let alone installed.
When complete, though, the new renovation comes with some pretty promises, like 67 more parking spaces than before, two drinking fountains, and a more sustainable trail entry with better footing for hikers. 

"The roundabout is complete on McDonald Drive.  We're going to have interpretive signage and flushable toilets. In the past, all we've had is portable toilets," said Ewell.  Ewell says they are looking at early January to open Echo Canyon, but won't finalize a date until later this month.