The weather is getting nice here in Phoenix and people are hitting the trails. I am fortunate enough to live near South Mountain Park and it is one of the largest city parks in the nation. https://www.phoenix.gov/parks/trails/locations/south-mountain South Mountain Park has over 16,000 acres of open desert and has 51 miles of trails. These beautiful trails are shared by hikers, horseback riders and bikers.
I want to make sure people are prepared for heading onto the trails. Many times people are not prepared when they decide to hike so I wanted to go over a few things to remember.
- Carry plenty of water and extra water if you bring a dog
- Take along a energy snack or two. There are many out there but I like Quest Bars: http://www.questnutrition.com
- Know your limits. Always tell someone where you are going and what time you are expected back
- Stay on marked trails and have a plan. Take a look at park maps online. Always remember the topography of the desert can be tricky
- Dress properly (layer clothes, wear one bright color item that can be easily seen, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, good closed toe hiking shoes)
- Carry a phone with GPS but remember they may not always work once in the park. A great app to use is mapmyhike: http://www.mapmyhike.com
- A great item to take on the trails is a light weight backpack or waist pack for additional items
My mom likes to be extra specially prepared and even carries additional items like a comb or tweezers (to remove cactus needles), band-aids, and a snake bit kit. She recommended a great site for desert climbing hiking trails is: http://www.desertusa.com/thingstodo/du_ttd_hike2.html
I hope you enjoy the parks and trails like I do. Always remember to be respectful of the trails themselves and not bother the environment.
Please: Only Leave Your Footprints Behind.
Enjoy all the Petroglyphs and man-made damn.
But the point of all of this is to just be smart and prepared!
See you out on the trails!
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