Tumamoc Hill, a treasured Tucson landmark, will reopen to the public on May 25, after closing on March 18 due to COVID-19.
Arizona's stay-at-home order expires May 15.
In the days leading up to the closure, more than 1,500 people were congregating at the popular hiking spot daily, making social distancing challenging, director Ben Wilder said in a news release at the time.
The west-side hill is a popular place for walkers, runners and families with many hard climbs and a beautiful view at the top.
"Given the rising public health concerns regarding spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, Tumamoc Hill is taking the utmost precaution to safeguard our community," said Joaquin Ruiz, University of Arizona vice president for global environmental futures at the time "As a core gathering site for so many Tucsonans, Tumamoc Hill also unfortunately has the potential to be a prime vector for spread."
When Tumamoc Hill opens on Memorial Day with its regular hours — 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. — visitors will be required to wear face masks and keep at least 6 feet of distance from others.
Hikers are also being asked to give people over the age of 65 and with preexisting conditions preferential walking hours from 6-8 a.m.
"The steps we are taking aim to provide our community with needed exercise, connection to our beautiful desert and a sense of comfort in such a trying time, while balancing the fact that gathering as a community endangers each of us and our loved ones. This is an unprecedented challenge that we are taking extremely seriously," Wilder said in a news release about the reopening.
Those steps include markers and arrows along the path, spaced 10 feet apart to help people keep their distance and avoid congregating at the gate at the bottom of the hill.
Other precautions include limiting group sizes to three people and placing hand sanitizing stations along the path. Also, don't touch the gate at the top of the hill.
The University of Arizona's Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill (the UA owns and maintains Tumamoc), is also partnering with CREAM Design and Print to create Tumamoc-themed masks that are exercise friendly and available for purchase when the hill opens, according to the news release.
Hikers should continue to respect the closure of Tumamoc Hill until it officially reopens on May 25.
"If proper precautions are taken, the Tumamoc community has the opportunity to lead in responsible reopening," Wilder said in the release. "Together, we will find our way through this challenge, anchored by core pillars of Tumamoc Hill: culture, community and respect."
Visit tumamoc.arizona.edu for more information.