Phoenix Board Approves Closing Busy Hiking Trails During Heat Warnings

The City of Phoenix’s Parks and Recreation Board voted on Thursday, Oct. 28th to close the hiking trails on Camelback, Piestewa Summit Trail and it’s surrounding trails when the National Weather Services issues an excessive heat warning (105 degrees and over)

This decision stemmed from the summer of 2020, when 12 firefighters had done a back to back rescue on Piestewa Peak and had to be sent home due to heat related problems. Two of the firefighters were later hospitalized.

For this reason, these popular trails will now be closed, since they are the most difficult trails for first responders to respond too, especially if its multiple times day.

During the summer of 2021, a pilot program occurred; limiting access on the trails from 11am – 5pm, which reduced the amount of mountain rescues by 38%.

With this new policy in place, during excessive heat warnings the trails parking lot gates will be closed and Rangers will be on guard nearby to stop anyone from going onto the trails.