Phoenix hiking, biking trails remain open despite record heat

Posted at 7:20 PM, Jun 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 17:15:26-04

With at least five people dead on Arizona trails in the last three days, hikers are being warned to use extreme caution or avoid going into the mountains.

A park ranger stationed at the base of Camelback Mountain’s Echo Canyon Trail Monday showed people a thermometer and asked them if they were adequately prepared with water and proper clothing. In the last year, the City of Phoenix installed signs with tips as part of its “Take a Hike - Do it Right” campaign.

At mid-afternoon, three people were on the trail. The park ranger said he encouraged two women who arrived in sundresses and sandals to turn around. Parks officials say they've talked about closing trails during extreme weather, but they decided it wasn’t feasible.

“We have access points all across the city that aren’t gated,” said Natural Resources Deputy Director Alonso Avitia.

He says there are too many of those access points to block or patrol “even with all our staff on board."