Phoenix expands trail restrictions during excessive heat warnings

By Kirsten Dorman
Published: Monday, September 4, 2023 - 2:44pm
Updated: Tuesday, September 5, 2023 - 7:29am

Take a Hike, Do it Right heat warning sign
Evelin Ruelas/Cronkite News
“Take a Hike, Do it Right” signs warns visitors of the dangers while hiking in hot conditions.

Last week, the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board voted to expand a city program that closes popular trails when the heat threatens hikers’ safety.

Launched in 2021 as a seasonal pilot, the program is now in effect all year, with select trails at Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak closed whenever there’s an excessive heat warning.

"Ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of our hikers and first responders while accessing our trails is our top priority," said Kelly Dalton, chair of the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board said in a press release. "The action we took [Thursday night] is another important step in protecting individuals from the devasting effects that can result from hiking in extreme heat."

Phoenix Fire Captain Kimberly Quick-Ragsdale said some restrictions also apply to dogs.

“Dogs are not permitted on the trails past 90 degrees,” said Quick-Ragsdale. “The restrictions, we’re just trying to tighten them up and so it prevents injury to animals, injury to the public.”

After the rescue of a 40-year-old woman and her dog on South Mountain on Monday morning, Quick-Ragsdale emphasized the importance of checking the weather and being prepared before venturing out.