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Posted on: April 1, 2020

Maricopa Countys Regional Parks Update Park Operations

Parks

The Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department realizes that the community is seeking outdoor recreation opportunities where they can walk, hike, run, and bike while practicing safe social-distancing. To ensure park visitor and staff safety, the following operational changes have been implemented in all regional parks immediately.

Park hours

  • Park hours for Maricopa County’s mountain parks are 6 am to 6 pm - Sunday through Saturday.
  • Park hours for Lake Pleasant Regional Park are 6 am to 8 pm Sunday through Saturday.
  • Park hours for the Hassayampa River Preserve will remain the same (ie, closed Monday and Tuesday. Open Wednesday through Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm).

Day-use

  • Parks will limit the day-use capacity to comply with Executive Order 2020-12 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which call for social-distancing. Once the park has reached day-use capacity, entrance into the park will be restricted to a one-out, one-in practice.

Payments

  • Parks will accept payments via credit/debit cards and annual passes at entry stations only.
  • Cash payments are strongly discouraged but may be made via envelope. Please include the exact change as our team will no longer have cash in the entry stations. Checks will not be accepted.

Facilities

  • Nature Centers will remain closed. Staff are available by appointment only.
  • All park playgrounds are closed.
  • Group/youth campgrounds and ALL group picnic areas will remain closed.
  • Restrooms in closed areas will be locked.

Trailheads

  • Popular trailheads at some parks may experience parking restrictions to limit capacity or will be closed to help ensure safe social-distancing.
  • If parking restrictions are in place, DO NOT park along the roadway or create parking spots.

Campsites

  • The reservation system will be used to book developed and semi-developed campsites.
  • No reservations will be taken after hours.
  • No primitive or shoreline camping allowed.

The department would also like to remind everyone that the following guidelines issued by the CDC remain in place:

Social-distancing 

  • Do not use trails if you have symptoms of COVID-19, which can include fever, cough, and breathing trouble.
  • Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than ten (10) people.
  • Ensure that there are six (6) to eight (8) feet between you and the next person.
  • If your favorite trailhead or recreation spot in the park is experiencing congestion, find another area in the park…spread out!

Practice good hygiene 

  • Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
  • Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.

If you are planning a visit to a Maricopa County regional park, please remember to:

  • Bring ample water for all members of your party.
  • Ensure all members of your party are dressed in recreation attire (ie, hats, hiking shoes, etc.).
  • Bring disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer for your protection.
  • If you’re hiking with pets, please clean-up after them. It’s even more important than usual to pack out your own trash to protect the other park visitors, employees, and natural resources.
  • And, that you have enough sunscreen for everyone.

The nature centers are closed so you will not have an opportunity to purchase water, snacks, or other items on-site. In addition, the department would kindly like to remind those visiting the parks that the soap and toilet paper are there for all park visitors.  Please do not remove restroom supplies from the park. The department currently has enough resources to serve park visitors. However, if the resources continue to be removed, there will not be enough for everyone.

If you are planning a visit, please expect delays and be patient.  Give your land a hand and practice responsible stewardship of your county parks. For additional information, visit www.maricopacountyparks.net.

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