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Hiking trail closures and heat not discouraging hikers

Posted at 10:44 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 01:44:26-04

PHOENIX — Monday marked the hottest day of the year so far, at 115 degrees in Phoenix. Many popular mountain trails reopened after another round of heat closures.

Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain closed down their trails from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. during excessive heat warnings.

The City of Phoenix saying there are no plans to adjust those hours on extremely hot days, at least for now.

Several people waited enter at the Piestewa Peak entrance as gates opened back up at 5 p.m. on Monday.

"I go like twice a week, yea," says hiker Ignacio Flores.

Ignacio Flores was the first to head up the mountain after trails were closed during the day.

"It’s going to be tough but, I think I'll be able to make it,” says Flores.

The City of Phoenix says they close some of the most popular trails as a way to reduce heat-related injuries and deaths. Phoenix fire stresses that temperatures can still be dangerous beyond the 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. time frame.

"Some people will get up early and get on the trail but not get down before the closure has been enacted. So, those are scenarios where there will still be people on the mountain that we're obviously ready and prepared to go help and rescue,” says Capt. Evan Gammage, Phoenix Fire Department,

For now, the City of Phoenix tells us there are no current plans to change their heat closure policy. Although, the Parks and Recreation Department is required to provide a report in October with an update on summer hiking and mountain rescues.

“If you drink enough water, you train for this on a day-to-day basis and you do it every day, you know, you should be fine. But, the people that aren't from Phoenix, it's probably not the greatest idea to come out here this late in the afternoon,” says Matthew Martin, hiker.

Cory Campbell is out here every day. He doesn’t just hike up the mountain, he runs up it. He says he most recently clocked in at 18 minutes, 15 seconds to the top.

"A lot of times I'll come during sunset, so it is slightly less hot. Today, I came earlier," says Cory Campbell.