The National Park Service is seeking public comment on a proposed permanent seasonal closure for Goldstrike Canyon and Arizona Hot Spring trails within Lake Mead National Recreation Area for May 15 through Sept. 30 annually.
Park management implemented temporary emergency closures on these two trails in the summer of 2014 and 2015 after public safety incidents significantly increased. This proposal would administratively change the closure from an emergency closure to a permanent seasonal closure.
In 2013, there were 17 incidents, which resulted in one fatality, 31 patients and five medical transports. In the first seven months of 2014, there were 37 incidents, resulting in three fatalities, 35 patients and 13 medical transports.
Park management added signs to discourage summer hiking, but the signs did not have the desired effect. People continued to hike the trails, endangering their lives and the lives of other visitors and rescue crews.
Goldstrike Canyon is a strenuous hike, requiring bouldering and climbing. It leads to Goldstrike and Nevada hot springs and the Colorado River. The area known as White Rock Canyon has multiple trails leading to the Arizona Hot Spring, Liberty Bell Arch and the Colorado River.
During the closure period, visitors may still access the popular hot springs via the Colorado River. Other less strenuous trails through the park will also remain open. Those who choose to hike during the summer are encouraged to follow summer safety tips found online at http://www.nps.gov/lake/planyourvisit/summer-hiking.htm.
The public is encouraged to comment on the proposed closure. Feedback will be accepted through May 1 both online at http://www.nps.gov/lake/parkmgmt/comment-and-review.htm and via U.S. Mail at: Lake Mead National Recreation Area Superintendent, Attention: Proposed Seasonal Trail Closure, 601 Nevada Way, Boulder City, Nevada 89005.