PHOENIX - Entrances to nearly a dozen parks in Phoenix will close early on the 4th of July. The risk of fire has resulted in the Parks and Recreation Department to restrict access to trailheads at several desert parks and preserves.
"City of Phoenix Park Rangers will close entrance gates at 3 p.m. to Camelback Mountain, Deem Hills Recreation Area, Papago Park, Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Area, Phoenix Mountains Preserve, Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, North Mountain Park, Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, and South Mountain Park/Preserve. Additionally, the upper lookouts in South Mountain Park/Preserve will be emptied and closed at 1 p.m.," stated officials.
- Fireworks, open wood and charcoal fires
- Propane and gas grills may be used, but only in established picnic areas
- Smoking outside enclosed vehicles
- Alcoholic beverages
- Glass beverage containers
Any hikers who hit the trails are advised to bring water, a mobile phone and dress for the heat.
Guidelines from the city of Phoenix:
- Watch the Weather: Yes, "it’s a dry heat" - but Arizona’s temperature can be deceiving and deadly. Hike when it’s cool outside, try early mornings and evenings when there’s more shade.
- Dress Appropriately: Wear proper shoes, clothing, hat and sunscreen.
- Bring Water: Hydrate before you go. Have plenty of water, more than you think you need. Turn around and head back to the trailhead before you drink half of your water.
- Keep in Contact: Carry a mobile phone.
- Team Up: Hike with others. If hiking solo, tell someone your start and end times, and location.
- Be Honest: Do you have a medical condition? Asthma, heart problems, diabetes, knee or back problems? Don’t push yourself! (Even trained athletes have been caught off guard by getting dehydrated on Arizona trails.)
- Don’t Trailblaze: Enjoy the Sonoran Desert’s beautiful and undeveloped landscape, but please stay on designated trails.
- Take Responsibility: Don’t be "that person" - the one who wasn’t prepared, shouldn’t have been there for health reasons or ignored safety guidelines. Be the responsible hiker, who takes a hike and does it right!
- For the safety of pets, dogs are prohibited on any City of Phoenix trail when the temperature is 100 degrees or warmer. The Arizona Humane Society advises that temperatures in the 90s are also unsafe for pets to be outdoors. Learn how to keep pets safe during Arizona’s warm weather months.
For more information, head to https://www.phoenix.gov/Parks.