/ Modified mar 18, 2020 5:21 p.m.

As Tumamoc Hill closes, Saguaro National Park stays open, suspending fees and closing visitor centers

The park is also canceling programs in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Saguaro National Park East hero The entrance to Saguaro National Park east.
AC Swedbergh / AZPM

The Tumamoc Desert Laboratory announced that the popular walking destination would close to foot traffic Wednesday at noon.

Saguaro National Park is remaining open and temporarily suspending entrance fees, but in compliance with Centers for Disease Control guidance on crowd sizes, visitor centers will close and all official public programs are canceled.

"Our trails and our roads are still open," said spokesperson Andy Fisher, "so we certainly welcome folks that want to get social distancing out on a trail. We've got some room for that."

Bathrooms and water fountains remain operational and staff will increase the frequency at which they are cleaned.

And, Fisher said, just because the visitor center doors will be locked doesn't mean you can't talk to a ranger.

"Anyone that you would have found behind a desk normally, we've got them out at the trailheads and finding people out where they are."

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