The Tucson Hiking Meetup Group Message Board › Closure for portion of West Fork Trail
TEMPORARY CLOSURE FOR PORTIONS OF
WEST FORK TRAIL
Area Closed for Public Safety Due to Mountain Lion Incident
Tucson, Arizona (May 31, 2013) – A portion of the West Fork Trail (Trail #24), on the Santa Catalina Ranger District, Coronado National Forest, will be temporarily closed.
Entry into the following portions of West Fork Trail is prohibited:
1. The intersection of West Fork Trail and Cathedral Rock Trail (Trail #26); and,
2. The intersection of West Fork Trail and Sabino Rock Trail (Trail #23).
The area is temporarily closed to allow for public safety along portions of West Fork Trail. This portion of West Fork Trail is part of the Arizona Trail, and goes by the popular destination Hutch’s Pool.
The area will remain closed until June 7, 2013, or until the order is rescinded, whichever is earlier.
Any violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5000.00 for individuals, $10,000.00 for organizations and/or imprisonment for not more than six months.
Numerous recreationists frequent the Pusch Ridge Wilderness. It is important to remember this area is habitat for mountain lions. Safety precautions should be exercised at all times. The USFS Lion Awareness Brochure highlights safety precautions that should be used if lion activity exists. Mountain lions are usually secretive and prefer to avoid people. Chances of encountering mountain lions are rare, except in locations like Sabino Canyon and surrounding areas where they are becoming habituated to people. Lions are top-level predators capable of inflicting injury on humans, do not approach them. Approach them. If a lion is encountered, stay calm and speak loudly and firmly. Do not run, as it may stimulate a lion’s instinct to chase. Stand and face the animal, raise your arms or open your jacket to look large, and slowly back away. Mountain lion sightings should be reported. Lion sightings in or near Sabino Canyon and the Santa Catalina Mountains should be reported at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center during business hours (5700 N. Sabino Canyon Road,  749-8700). Lion sightings should also be reported to the Arizona Game and Fish Department at (520) 628-5376. After hours reports should be made through the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s 24-hour number (800) 352-0700.