PHOENIX — The trailheads at Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain in Phoenix will be closed for much of the day on Tuesday and Wednesday after the National Weather Service issued an Excessive Heat Warning for those days.
Temperatures in Phoenix are expected to be between 108 and 113 degrees, according to the National Weather Service and ABC15's weather team.
Excessive Heat Warnings take effect tomorrow and Wednesday from the Valley to the west.— Jorge Torres (@JorgeTWeather) August 2, 2021
Expect highs ranging from 110-111 for both days. Stay hydrated and limit your time outdoors. @abc15 #azwx pic.twitter.com/J1Mw8ggT04
It also marks the first time that those trails will be closed under a new pilot program that the City of Phoenix is testing that hopes to reduce the number of emergencies -- ie: mountain rescues, distressed or injured hikers -- first responders and technical rescue teams have to respond to during the hottest parts of the summer months.
Both the parking lots and trails will be closed from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board voted in July to launch the pilot program, which runs until September 30, after the Phoenix Firefighters Association told the Board that several of its firefighters were suffering their own heat-related health issues while trying to rescue distressed hikers.
Camelback Mountain is one of the most popular and challenging hiking spots in the Valley. It's common for Phoenix firefighters to be called to the mountain for distressed, dehydrated, injured, or lost hikers who sometimes have to be wheeled down the mountain or flown via helicopter.
Under the program, only Camelback Mountain and the Piestewa Peak trailheads will be closed. All other hiking trails in Phoenix proper will be open.
The @NWSPhoenix has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for 10 a.m. Tuesday to 8 p.m. Wednesday.— Phoenix Parks and Recreation (@PhoenixParks) August 2, 2021
Use of trails on @CityofPhoenixAZ's Camelback Mountain and at Piestewa Peak Trailhead will be restricted from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. those days. #HikeRight #azwx #PHXSummer pic.twitter.com/C2yhdzXfb2
With temperatures forecasted above 100 degrees, it's important to hike safely. Among a number of safety tips, watch the weather and hike early in the morning or evening when the temperatures are coolest, bring extra weather, wear appropriate clothing and shoes, wear a hat and sunscreen, hike with a group, and keep in contact with someone to let them know when you start hiking and when you're expected to be done.
Dogs are not allowed on any Phoenix trail when it is above 100 degrees.