Phoenix authorities informed today that specific trailheads will be closed temporarily in cases of extreme heat. The decision was made by the Phoenix Park and Recreation Board during a special meeting this Tuesday.
The new rules will be implemented starting from July 16 through September 30. The trailheads will be closed from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm on days when the National Weather Service issues an excessive heat watch. Parking lot gates will be closed, and signage will be posted.
This measure will affect Echo Canyon and Cholla Trails at Camelback Mountain and all trailheads associated with Piestewa Peak.
The United Phoenix Firefighters Association requested closing the trails for the community’s and first responders’ safety. Twelve Phoenix firefighters were recently sent home from duty with heat-related issues after performing three mountain rescues in less than 24 hours during another excessive heat warning.
What is an excessive heat warning?
According to the Phoenix government site, a warning will be issued by the National Weather Service when there is a high o very high heat risk. During these periods, it’s best to remain indoors. In most areas, a warning will be published if there’s a heat index of at least 104ºF for more than three hours per day for two consecutive days or if the heat index is greater than 115ºF for any period of time.
If you’re planning on hiking soon, don’t forget to do it on appropriate days and with the necessary equipment. Take care of yourself and others!
Featured image by Abigail Kaucher.