Residents fighting construction of new Cholla trailhead access at Camelback Mountain

The new Cholla trailhead access point to Camelback Mountain is directly behind their backyard...
The new Cholla trailhead access point to Camelback Mountain is directly behind their backyard off Invergordon Road.(Arizona's Family)
Updated: Dec. 15, 2021 at 8:49 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Construction continues on the new access point for the Cholla trailhead at Camelback Mountain, despite objections from residents who live there.

The construction for the new access trail is on Invergordon Road, just off of Camelback Road. You have the Phoenician golf course on one side, and directly on the other side of the new access point are residential homes.

Those residents are concerned about security and parking and feel the City hasn’t given them enough say in this. Gene and Janie Morrison built their home just off Camelback Mountain in 2002 — they couldn’t beat the desert views and privacy. But now, they said that will change.

“Access to the trail starts there, and right where you see that fence is where the trail would be,” pointed Gene.

The new Cholla trailhead access point to Camelback Mountain is directly behind their backyard off Invergordon Road. “Would you want somebody hiking 80 feet from your backyard? No,” said Gene. “There’s no barriers between us and the trailhead, so that is an issue, no question.”

The Morrison’s are one of four families who live in the Los Palacios neighborhood that sent a letter to the Phoenix City Council asking them to review this re-location due to several issues. They said there are security concerns and what they believe will be a parking fiasco between homes, the resort, and condos all off Invergordon Road — and thousands of hikers there weekly.

“The only parking is from this area to this area which is about 25 parking spots only,” said Gene. The Morrison’s feel the City hasn’t included them in any input and hasn’t kept their neighborhood up to date with development. “We’ve been trying to get more information about drainage and security, and every time we meet with them, they don’t answer our questions,” said Janie.

The City sent Arizona’s Family a statement Wednesday night that said, “The City is aware of these concerns and considers community feedback throughout the planning process. In an effort to mitigate line-of-sight concerns, additional native trees and shrubs are being planted strategically throughout the project area.” The Morrison’s have an attorney and said even though construction continues, they’re not going away.

“We’re still fighting it, yeah,” said Janie. A City spokesperson said the city council did recently receive the letter from the residents, but so far, any action on it hasn’t been discussed.

The trail’s been closed since March of 2020. The City said construction on this project will continue and is expected to be done in the summer of 2022.