TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Starting Aug. 5, those who use Hope Camp Trail in Saguaro National Park, East District, will find some difficulty utilizing parts of the area as repair work begins.
According to SNP officials, the work is scheduled to go through the end of September and is made possible by fee dollars collected at the park.
“In Saguaro National Park, every dollar collected is kept locally to perform work that directly improves our visitor experience,” said Leah McGinnis, Superintendent, in a recent news release. “This is one of several projects underway or planned in the near future using Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (fee) dollars to improve visitor services, repair infrastructure, and address deferred maintenance in the park.”
Repair work will consist of replacing failing large culverts with low water crossings. This work will require heavy equipment to dig out and remove those portions of the trail, as well as require Camino Loma Alta to be used as a staging area for large rocks and other construction material, limiting availability of parking, especially for trailers.
SNP does not anticipate a full closure for the trail, though it will not be suitable for horses or bicycles during repair work. Areas where crews are working will be well marked and obvious to trail users; even if crews are not working, those who are on the trail should be prepared for areas of the trail to be degraded.
“We encourage all users of the trail to approach work areas cautiously,” said Rich Goepfrich, Saguaro National Park’s Facility Manager, in a recent news release. “Make eye contact with machine operators and wait for a signal that it is safe to pass through the area. Bicycles should plan to walk through the construction zones and be prepared to carry bikes down the trail cuts and back up again until the trail is rebuilt.”
According to SNP when repairs on the Hope Camp Trail are complete, it should be more sustainable and require less maintenance to prevent or repair washouts.
For more information about Saguaro National Park, please visit www.nps.gov/sagu.