Arizona Hiking Deaths Spark Conversation About Trail Amenities

By Sarah Ventre
Published: Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 5:01pm
Updated: Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 9:25pm
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This summer has been a particularly brutal one with a number of hikers dying in and around the Valley. This has led to conversations about the services available at trails, like shade and water.

Phoenix’s Parks and Recreation Department is looking to improve the infrastructure at Phoenix Mountain Preserve, and is hosting public meetings to get input from the public about what improvements they’d like to see.

We talked to Ken Vonderscher, deputy director with Phoenix’s Parks and Recreation Department, who said that there are improvements currently being made at South Mountain. Echo Canyon had some work done to the parking area and trail head in 2013, and it makes sense to go to Phoenix Mountain Preserve next. He also said that the portion at Piestewa Peak is over 50 years old and is in need of some improvement. 

We also spoke with Peter Olsen, vice president for Programs and Government Relations at American Hiking Society, to find out a little bit more about what exactly hiking infrastructure is, and what’s needed to maintain and improve trails.

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