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Phoenix closes hiking trails during heat warnings

The city of Phoenix is closing a number of popular hiking trails during excessively hot days this summer.

Hiking trails around the Valley will close on days when the National Weather Service issues Excessive Heat Warnings. The closures on those days will apply from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Camelback Mountain’s Cholla and Echo trails, as well as all trails connecting from the Piestewa Peak Trailhead. 

The closures were first implemented in a pilot program last summer, leading the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board to adopt the program in October. Adam Waltz with Parks and Recreation says the closures have hikers and first responders in mind. 

“This is a great thing for our first responders because the trails that are closed are very popular, they’re very beautiful once you get to the top," Waltz said. "But they’re also very difficult.”

As of now, Waltz says there are no plans to close additional trails in the Phoenix area.

“You still have hiking options," Waltz said. "We obviously want you to avoid extreme heat in any form on any trail, make sure you have enough water, hike with a buddy.”

According to Phoenix Parks and Recreation, parking lots will be open an extra two hours to promote hiking after 7 p.m.

Nick Sanchez is a senior producer for KJZZ's The Show. He joined the station as an intern during the spring of 2022, where he developed a passion for audio storytelling in the Valley.