New Camelback Mountain trailhead plans ‘blindside’ residents

One of the Valley’s most iconic hikes has only been partly open for almost two years.

The Cholla Trail on Camelback Mountain has been closed since March 2020. At first, it was closed for safety, then for construction.

A new trailhead location has some neighbors upset about how the city of Phoenix is handling the move. Construction on the new trailhead for the Cholla Trail just started, and if you’re familiar with that one, it’s the one with the bad parking.

People will park on Invergordon Road and usually walk to the trailhead. The parking problem isn’t set to change, and that’s just one of the issues neighbors have.

The trail is going to pass through Gene Morrison’s backyard – a resident in the neighborhood.

"The little gate that they'll come in off of, it's so narrow. You've got 10 or 15,00 hikers per month trying to access the trailhead from here," he said.

The trailhead used to be accessible on Cholla Lane, which will now shift and parking has yet to be addressed.

"This was news to us, and we've just been blindsided by the whole issue," Morrison said.

On the other trail, Echo Canyon, hikers were happy to hear about proposed improvements like restrooms and water fountains to the trailhead they haven’t been able to access for nearly two years.

"It's gonna be phenomenal," said Jeremiah Wheeler, a hiker. "We've been keeping track so once they get that back up, it'll be great to do a full loop or a full back and forth."

Vince Whitaker, another hiker, agrees.

"My grandson and I had just talked about it. We knew this one was open, so if that opened up again, with parking, we definitely want to."

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