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Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 01 2017 7:33 am
by SpiderLegs
Finally learning my lesson and avoiding trail running & hiking on high pollution days like we are currently experiencing in the Phoenix area. One long hike in the brown cloud a few years ago resulted in a month off of training and a week off of work due to a severe sinus infection. Playing around with some of the air quality maps and trying to figure out the closest place with clean air in the Phoenix area. Thought about Black Canyon City, but it is just as bad as Phoenix right now. What spot within a 60 minute drive of Phoenix has the cleanest air so that I can plan a hike for the weekend?

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 01 2017 7:40 am
by CannondaleKid
@SpiderLegs
The sheer amount of vehicles traveling the 'I-17 corridor' probably have more than a little to do with that.

The 'front' ridge of the Supes may just provide a bit of 'cover' from the worst of it, so I'm thinking you'd be better somewhere to the East.

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 01 2017 7:44 am
by Jim_H
I'm hoping the air clears soon. This overcast nasty and the brown air near the ground is ridiculous. I don't care how many people find it, "different". It ruined my hike a few days ago, and ever since I have had an asthma like feeling in my chest. I did Piestewa the day after, which was also stupid. I sure wish I was off over the long weekend to have hiked. The air was cleaner then, hot or not.

If it is sunny tomorrow, and I feel well, I plan to head to Ord, or something similar. I think that area may be the closest of the hikes which you mention. You'll be above the filth, at least, and the sun would be nice. The inversion appears to sit below 3,000' when I observed it from Piestewa Peak, but this varies due to your location. If 3,000' is the upper limit of the pollution, that opens up more options.

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 01 2017 7:59 am
by chumley
The Chinese have been doing this for decades. Countless products available online for casual and athletic pursuits alike.

Image

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 01 2017 8:05 am
by SuperstitionGuy
Within a 60 minute drive you had best rent a plane out of Deer Valley Airport. :M2C:

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 01 2017 9:12 am
by arizona_water
@spiderlegs I've been thinking about this issue a lot lately. The highest air quality (or lowest particulate and photochemical pollution) will be in the pine and mixed conifer forests. So the closest one for me is the Mogollon Rim. 90 minutes instead of 60?

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 01 2017 9:27 am
by chumley
The EPA publishes a 1990s-quality website with current maps and forecasts. Locally, Peoria seems to be a breath of fresh air more often than Laveen, which is the armpit of the valley.

But Lake Havasu is where you want to be. ⛵️

https://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action ... &submit=Go

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 01 2017 12:37 pm
by Dschur
My husband said yesterday he almost didn't do his daily run in Payson because the smoke was bad.. he could smell it and couldn't see very far .. but cleared up about 230.. I noticed headlights this morning up there lit up with some kind of particulates.. was dark when I left so couldn't see how the air looked but they are doing controlled burning right now near Payson..

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 01 2017 12:39 pm
by Jim_H
@Dschur
Yeah, at least from the perspective of the air moving out of the area, those prescribed fires would be better for us in the late spring and summer. This time of year the forest may see things like less crown scorch, but the air sinks and the smoke stays around.

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 01 2017 1:08 pm
by ALMAL
As a life long allergy sufferer, this is the time of year I dread the most since I moved to the valley. Ragweed is still producing allergens. Arizona is possibly the worst state for ragweed now. Add that to the nasty pollution out there and it can result in some really rough days, like yesterday. Not much helps unless it makes you drowsy.
Sinus pressure? Phil Colins song comes to mind, Su-Su-Sudafed... Every time I buy that at Walgreens I feel like I'm being placed on some sort of watch list...
I was up on lower WCC last weekend and I felt the air was much better, no sneezing, itchy eyes, sore throat, all good. Today I drove from Gilbert down to the north east side of Tucson. The air around and going through Florence was really bad. Once past that it cleared up and the air near Catalina seemed much better. As I drove west then back towards I-10 it got progressively worse, and after passing Casa Grande I just started sneezing again. Staying indoors is about the best defense for now, or maybe a mask like Chumley suggested.

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 01 2017 1:29 pm
by rcorfman
SpiderLegs wrote:Thought about Black Canyon City, but it is just as bad as Phoenix right now. What spot within a 60 minute drive of Phoenix has the cleanest air so that I can plan a hike for the weekend?
I hiked Deem Hills in the north valley today after reading this. What I can tell you is that from Deem Hills, the brown cloud extends from the WSW to the ESE. Looking north towards Black Canyon City was fairly clear so I think anywhere on the Black Canyon Trail would be okay. Looking NW towards the Hieroglyphic mountains was the clearest, so maybe find a hike around Lake Pleasant, such as the Little Jim trail. It didn't look bad to the NE either so I think the Sonoran Desert Preserve would be okay along with hikes out of Cave Creek park or Spur Cross.

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 01 2017 1:42 pm
by ALMAL
@chumley
That's a cool map/link. I just drove through that nasty darker golden color to the south towards Casa Grande, so I would say it's pretty accurate.

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 01 2017 2:35 pm
by cactuscat
@rcorfman
Spur Cross was the first place that came to my mind - the air always seemed so much fresher out there ...
Of course I haven't lived in the Valley or dealt with city pollution in over 5 years, so what do I know.

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 01 2017 4:32 pm
by SpiderLegs
The air quality website has been something I'm checking a lot this week. Looks like as of 3 PM the two hour break up of clouds earlier this afternoon were enough to take things down to moderate from unsafe earlier today and all of yesterday. The best spot on the map right now is in the Phoenix Mountain Preserves. If it holds up looks like I'm doing Trail 100 or 1A in the morning.

Turned 50 this year and have started to actually go to the doctor to get things checked out. An allergist was on top of the list and they just happen to live next door to me. So if I head out the door in this kind of weather wearing running or hiking gear I better have a good explanation if they catch me. The meds they have me on have helped a ton, but I've been warned to really pay attention to the air quality website and adjust my outdoor activity accordingly. A distinct possibility I'm moving south next year, so if I do that will help my allergies a ton living in Tucson.

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 02 2017 9:18 am
by Jim_H
I'm curious if you went out, and if you found the better air? The webcams and satellite images show brown air all over the valley and to the east, and the low clouds are persisting in a streak from the Valley to the east over the Mazatzals and Superstitions.

Later in the week, sunny high pressure will return to it's proper place after a wind event hopefully blows all this nastiness out of the area. Perhaps the air won't be as lethal, then.

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 02 2017 2:41 pm
by SpiderLegs
@Jim_H - Might head out tomorrow. Playing it safe right before the holidays and don't feel like battling a sinus infection for the next few weeks. Don't have anything that I need to train for. So went out Christmas tree hunting instead and got the bulk of my holiday shopping done this morning.

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 02 2017 7:37 pm
by Nighthiker
Was down in the Phoenix Metro area on Thursday and Friday. Left home early Thursday and the Rye area was covered with a brown cloud and it got worse as I arrived in the valley. The air looked like you could plow it. Was planning an overnighter but went back home and returned on Friday.

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 02 2017 7:46 pm
by chumley
I’ve been going to oxygen bars for hyperbaric therapy. It’s like magic. You don’t even realize you’ve been outside in the filth of humanity.

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 02 2017 8:15 pm
by The_Eagle
@chumley
No you haven't.
There is no oxygen in those bars..

Re: Best Air Quality In The Phoenix Area

Posted: Dec 04 2017 5:57 pm
by Jim_H
Is it me, or is the air quality in the valley up a lot in the last 6 to 12 hours?