Cholla Trail may move after luxurious homeowners raised concerns

Posted at 8:42 PM, Sep 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-26 08:37:19-04

The Phoenix City Council may vote next week on moving a Camelback Mountain trailhead, after years of complaints from neighbors in the area.

The Cholla Trail is considered the easy way up the famous mountain,  but there's no easy answer to end clashes between hikers and people living near the trailhead.

"I probably try to go at least once or twice a week," trail runner Joe Funk said.

One neighbor, who's lived on Cholla Road for nearly 20 years, asked ABC15 not to use her name because the situation was tense. She says thousands of people flock to the trail, crowding the road. She says it's dangerous. 

"You could hardly even drive through the street on a weekend, especially when the weather gets good," the woman said. 

Some of those people leave trash behind and even go to the bathroom in the bushes.  Many neighbors installed signs warning hikers to stay off their property.

"If this was my house, I'd be worried," hiker Mike Bahe said.

On October 4, the Phoenix City Council will debate a long-term solution. They will look at a rezoning proposal for the Phoenician Resort, including an easement to move the end of Cholla Trail onto land that's currently a golf course. The new trailhead would be on Invergordon Road, near where hikers already park for the trail. 

If the zoning is approved, the council would vote at a later date on constructing details and paying for the project. Some estimate it will cost $2 million. 

Not all hikers think the taxpayers should be footing the bill to make life easier for luxury homeowners in the area.

"I think we can do something better with our money than mess with the trail," Funk said. "It's fine the way it is."