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Trail crews are scheduled on August 5 to begin rebuilding sections of the Hope Camp Trail in Saguaro National Park’s Rincon Mountain District (east). The work is scheduled to continue to the end of September.

As part of the project, several large culverts which at risk of failing will be replaced with low water crossings. This portion of the project will require heavy equipment to dig out and remove these sections of trail. The project will also require the end of Camino Loma Alta to be used as a staging area for large rocks and other construction materials, limiting the availability of parking, especially trailer parking and the ability to easily turn a trailer around.

The park does not anticipate a full closure of the trail, however, as a result of the equipment being used and the deep cuts in the trail required to remove the culverts, the trail may not be suitable for horses or bicycles during the construction. Work areas will be well marked and obvious to trail users. Even if crews are not actively working in one of the areas, users should be prepared for areas of the trail to be significantly degraded. “We encourage all users of the trail to approach work areas cautiously,” according to Rich Goepfrich, Saguaro National Park’s Facility Manager. “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.”

This work is being completed using 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,” according to Leah McGinnis, Superintendent. “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.” Once the Hope Camp Trail project is complete, the trail will be more sustainable requiring less maintenance to prevent or repair washouts.

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