How to: Hike Safely in Arizona
Arizona is known for its amazing hiking and beautiful desert terrain. Excited about the breathtaking landscape, it can be easy for most people to forget some important facts when you're out and about.
Know your route
When you are hiking longer trails, sometimes trail markers can be difficult to see. If you are concerned, make sure you map out your route beforehand or see if someone else can take you on the hike that has done it before. Trust us—you don’t want to get lost and be stuck through the freezing nights in the desert!
Bring plenty of water
If you think you are drinking enough water, chances are you could stand to drink even more, especially while hiking. According to the AZ Republic, there were 172 people killed in JUST Phoenix in 2017!
Never forget to wear sunscreen! Even when it is cloudy, the sun can still give you a nasty burn if you are on a long hike. Better safe than sorry!
Let someone know where you're headed. This is very important, especially if you go alone. If you get lost or hurt, someone needs to know what your plan was for that day. If no one knows where you are and something happens it is going to be much harder to find you!
Watch for cacti
Take it from someone who knows, cacti are very mean and do not like when you fall onto them. While you are hiking watch where you are going so you don’t stumble onto one!
Look out for the three S’s
Snakes - Arizona has the venomous rattlesnake! The snake will warn you if you are getting too close. So it is important to really be listening around you!
Spiders - Arizona also has the black widow. What most people don’t know is that it is actually the female spider that is dangerous! Either way, it is extremely important to avoid them at all cost, as they have one of the most venomous bites in North America. Ouch!
Scorpions - Scorpions are dangerous to everyone, especially the bark scorpion, which is often found on trails.
Make sure you are always keeping your eyes open for all of these creatures mentioned. As long as you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you!
Wear comfortable and breathable clothing
When hiking it is very important to wear comfortable shoes, hiking ones if you have them, and comfortable clothing that will keep you cool and shaded from the sun.
Be aware of your surroundings
Our final piece of advice is to make sure you know who is around you. In Arizona, we get a lot of mountain bikers who will be moving faster than you, we have trail runners, and we have some people who are on a leisurely hike. Always be courteous to those around you!
Enjoy your hike and stay safe!