Camelback Parking Improvements

The City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation is looking to improve the parking situation at the trail-head for the Echo Canyon trail.

The idea is not only to increase the number of parking spots but also lower congestion, protect the park and improve safety.

This is a long awaited action that avid Echo Canyon trail hikers have been waiting for for years.

The $2.1M proposal drafted by The CK Group, Inc. in April 2012 includes the following improvements and additions.

Addition of Lower Level Parking

The biggest and most welcome improvement or addition is the increase of parking capacity by 64 spaces.  (See Below for Diagram)  This comes primarily through the addition of a lower level parking lot that runs parallel to Echo Canyon Parkway.  This lower level parking will include a new parking barrier gate and ranger guard house.  The old gate will be locked at all times and only used for emergencies.

This is a good addition because not only will this allow for easier entrance and exit from the trail head but will also obviously expand capacity for parking near the start of the hike.  Making the U-turn on Echo Canyon Parkway when the top lot is full has always been difficult and dangerous.

 

Addition of Multiuse path

This path is designed to be used by hikers entering the trailhead on foot or after parking.  Previously hikers had to approach on Echo Canyon Parkway and cross through traffic.  The path is set to extend all the way from McDonald Drive to the Ramadas at the beginning of the trail.  There is no doubt this path will help keep hikers safe and traffic flowing during the busy times on Camelback.

 

Addition of Roundabout

The roundabout will be positioned at the park entrance and help slow traffic for hikers that are crossing McDonald.  It will also act as sort of a barrier for the newly installed trailhead entrance and previous Echo Canyon Pkwy entrance which now will lead exclusively to Echo Canyon Estates.  Probably one of the biggest unforeseen benefits of the roundabout is the fact that it will help hikers new to the mountain identify where to turn.  Currently it is easy to miss the trail entrance if you are not familiar with the area.

 

Addition of Screen Walls

Screen walls are planned for installation to create some separation and privacy for the residents in Echo Canyon Estates and other homes surrounding the mountain.  This includes a long screen wall between Echo Canyon Parkway and the new lower level parking as well as a screen wall on the south end of the upper level parking area.  This is a good thing and bonus for the residents around Echo Canyon.  On top of getting a separate trail head entrance they now will get added privacy with the screen walls.

On top of all of these additions the Parks and Rec Department will be making improvements to recover the trail itself including removing erosion prone areas that will improve footing and ensure the long term sustainability of the mountain.  All of this is scheduled to begin in early 2013 with a six month lead time for completion.  It will be very exciting to see these changes as they roll out and will no doubt improve the hiking experience on the Echo Canyon trail on Camelback Mountain.

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For More Information be sure to check out the official post here

2 Responses to “Camelback Parking Improvements”

  1. […] not allow a large line of people waiting to park.  For now there is limited parking until the Camelback Mountain Parking Improvement Project is completed.  View the current parking locations for Echo Canyon trail.  You can also utilize […]

  2. […] Many Echo Canyon (Summit Trail) regulars are familiar with the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department plans to improve the parking situation at the Echo Canyon trailhead.  If you were not aware of this initiative, take a moment to read our post about the Camelback Parking Improvements. […]

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