Some Phoenix hiking trails close as excessive heat warning is in effect

Camelback, Piestewa Peak among those shut down from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Trails within the City of Phoenix are closing when temperatures get dangerously high.
Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 11:49 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Fire crews are urging hikers to stay safe as an excessive heat warning is in effect on Monday in Phoenix. Because of a recent policy passed by city leaders, certain trails are closed between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. That includes Echo Canyon and Cholla Trails on Camelback Mountain and all trails associated with the Piestewa Peak Trailhead. This comes after a number of mountain rescues over the weekend.

“If people call 911, we respond,” said Phoenix Fire Capt. Scott Douglas. “But we want people to understand these closures are in effect.” On average, Douglas says the department responds to more than 200 mountain rescues a year.

All summer long, Douglas urges Arizonans to watch the weather, dress appropriately, and bring water. Once you are halfway finished with your water, Douglas suggests turning around. Since the trail closures began last year, Douglas says they have seen fewer mountain rescues and it helps keep crews safe in the heat.

Last September, Arizona’s Family reported that from June 1st to July 16th, there were seven mountain rescues on Piestewa Peak but only four during the following two-month span. Phoenix fire officials also said that these numbers are dramatically down from total summer rescues over the past 3 years. Other cities, like Scottsdale, are looking at the program closely as well, Scottsdale’s fire chief said last year that the department was watching the efficacy of the Phoenix program to possibly implement in that city sometime in the future.