When you hit the trail, please be mindful of commonsense hiking safety.A few words about safety in the mountains. Many people go up the mountain totally unaware of how long it may take and what time the sun sets.

Too often rescues have to be made for silly reasons due to lack of preparation by "stupid people," unaware of the demanding terrain and weather extremes that can be dangerous. The most common rescues have been sprained ankles, extreme dehydration, total exhaustion and heart attacks by people and dogs, overweight and out of shape.

This is your first warning, bring water for every person and dog in your party!

Don't Hike In The Dark Experienced hikers don't do it , and without a flashlight it is extremely dangerous as very little if any city light reaches into the canyons and trails. Allow about one hour for each two miles covered, plus an additional hour for each 1,000 feet of altitude gained.

Know your Route. Know as much as possible about the area and the trail prior to venturing out.

Know Your Limits. All trail users need to be aware of their physical abilities and limitations, and those of their hiking partners. Realize that when you push beyond your limits, you can start making bad decisions. If you are not a regular exerciser, check with your doctor before embarking on a challenging hike.

Check the Weather. Know the weather forecast and be prepared for changes in the weather. Extreme heat, cold, and lightning are particular threats in Arizona. This information about lightning safety should be read.

Travel in a Group. Do not hike alone. Unless you are very experienced and prefer solitude, a party of at least four persons is recommended because you should try never to leave an injured person alone. He or she may wander off while in shock.

Tell Someone Where you are Going. Make sure you tell someone, in writing, exactly where you are going and when you expect to be back. In the event that you are not going to be very late returning but you are OK, be sure to let that person know.

Trails Are Often Located in Remote Areas. Therefore, injuries can present a potentially dangerous, frustrating, and even expensive experience. In most cases, with trails outside of a municipality, the county sheriff's department will be responsible for search and rescue operations (with the exception of National Park Service units that typically conduct their own). You will most likely be billed for the expense of your rescue.

Bring the Right Stuff. Some essential items that are useful in challenging and/or survival situations include the following:
  • One gallon of water or sports drinks for each person, per day!
  • Sunblock
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Map & compass (and the knowledge of how to use them)
  • Trail guide
  • Signal mirror
  • Whistle
  • Two-way radio or cellular phone
  • Space blanket for warmth and weather protection.
  • Waterproof matches or lighter
  • Candle or lightweight flashlight
  • Firestarters
  • Nylon cord
  • First aid kit
  • Tube tent
  • High energy food
  • Instant soup or bouillon cubes
  • Sierra cup
  • Water purification (iodine) tablets and/or filter system. Water sources along trails are almost always polluted.
  • Raingear, windgear, gloves, and warm hat for any mountain hike and any winter hike.
  • Dry shirt, dry socks
  • Sturdy footwear
  • Pocket knife
  • Toilet paper
The summer climate can be very harsh. Daytime temperatures during the summer months are over 100 degrees. Temperatures are more moderate between October 1 and April 30th. The terrain in many areas is extremely rugged.
Cold & Wind Heat & Sun Hiking Information
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Take More Water Than You Think You Will Need
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