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Want Tumamoc to remain open? Mask up, officials say

Tumamoc Hill
Pima County
Tumamoc Hill

TUCSON (KVOA) – Tumamoc Hill hikers are reminded once again to mask up.

If walkers want the west side hill to remain open, they must comply with its mask mandate, the University of Arizona said Thursday.

Hill officials say "compliance with Tumamoc Hill's mask mandate is lagging."

This is not the first UArizona has threaten to close the hill.

The hill was first closed to the public on March 18. It reopened on May 25 with the implementation of new policies, like wearing a mask when hiking.

In July, the university began monitoring the number of walkers wearing face coverings. They say this helped determine whether to keep the hill open or temporarily close it again.

During the summer, about 70% of visitors wore their mask, UArizona said.

Currently, morning walkers have kept about 60 to 70% compliance but compliance by evening walkers has reportedly fallen to about 30%.

"We're seeing people with masks, but they're wearing them around their wrists, ears or chins, rather than over their mouth and nose," Ben Wilder with Tumamoc Hill said. "And it is finally much more enjoyable to be outside in the evenings, which we hope encourages people to keep their masks on."

Local health officials are stationed at the base of the hill distributing free masks Saturday mornings and Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

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