Maricopa.gov HomepageContact Us (Popup Window)
Site Map | Search | Phone Directory | Departments | Services
Return to Homepage  
   Parks Home   |  News   |  Search Parks   |  Parks Commission   |  Quick Glance

 

 
 

About Us
Annual Pass
Arizona Academic Standards
Brochures & Artwork
Camping Terms and Conditions
Employment
Events
FAQ's
Fees
Geocaching
History of Park System
Maps
Maricopa Trail
Master Plan
Memorial Donations
Nature Centers
Other Links
Park Rules
Programs
Public Notices
Public Records Request
Reservations
Special Use Permits
Subscriptions
Surveys
Trail Rating Guide
Volunteer Opportunities
    - Support Your Parks
Vulture Mountain
    - Hassayampa River Preserve
Wildlife / Plants

Search Parks

 
  ATV / OHV
Archery
Baseball/Softball
Biking
Boating
Camping
Diving
Fishing
Golfing
Hiking
Hunting
Horseback Riding
Picnicking
RV's
Rodeo Arena
Shooting Range
Star Gazing
Volleyball
 
  Parks Home




 Events for All Parks 
<March 2015>
SMTWTFS
22232425262728
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234

Desert Hiking Safety Tips

Most of us are “transplants” to the desert, having moved here from somewhere else. We can learn a lot from our native surroundings if we just tune in to what is going on around us. Desert mammals are active in the early morning hours and again at dusk. Adjust your outdoor recreation habits to reflect this pattern to enjoy a safe summer hiking season!

In addition, here are a couple of basic safety refreshers to keep in mind when recreating outdoors:

  • Take short, familiar trails.
  • Start early…the earlier the better.
  • Rest often.
  • Never hike alone
  • Keep skin covered as much as possible by wearing a long sleeved shirt and a hat. Light colored clothing will help reflect heat.
  • Stay hydrated all the time. The best place to store water is in your body! Make sure to drink extra (water) the day before a planned hike to pre-hydrate. On the hike, carry more water than you think you’ll need. Depending on the length of the hike, carry at least 70-100 ounces. Always keep extra water in your vehicle for after the hike.
  • Carry a bandana in your pack. They are light-weight and can be used for numerous situations. If you are beginning to suffer from excessive heat, wet the bandana and place on the nape of the neck and/or the forehead. This will help to cool you down quickly. Seek shade under a tree or bush.
  • Leave word with someone trustworthy about where you intend to go. If you plan to camp overnight, fill out a slip at the Ranger Station so we don’t assume you are lost or injured, if your car is at the trailhead at closing time (sunset).
  • Map miles are not the same as effort miles. On good trails, hikers can go up to 2.5 MPH. On most trails, count on no more than 1 or 1.5 MPH, especially if admiring the views, cooling off under Palo Verde trees, taking pictures, etc.
  • Going uphill takes more time. A 1,000’ climb equals a mile of effort and adds 10 or 20 minutes. Downhill is no faster if the trail is bad.
  • Heat can kill you! Avoid travel if it is above 100 degrees. Hike between sun up and 11 a.m. Your efficiency drops drastically with heat and dehydration.
  • Carry enough water – two quarts at least. (It is impossible to carry enough on a 115-degree day.)
  • Be wary of rattlesnakes, particularly at night and when it is relatively cool. We have a plentiful supply here.
  • Carry something to signal with – a police whistle, signal mirror, and matches for a fire, a colored panel – to make you visible.
  • It is good sense to carry a hiking staff to aid in rough spots, and some sprain tape.
  • White Tank Mountain is tough country. Off-trail travel can get you in bad trouble quickly.
  • Look behind you frequently. The trail back looks different from the trail out.

 

Be considerate – leave no trace.

.

.

Spring Fitness Hike - Cave Creek Regional Park
Three Mile Thursday - Usery Park
Homeschool: Campstove Master Chef - San Tan
Thursday Bird Walk - Usery Park
Plants of the Sonoran Desert - White Tank Mtn
"Just for Kids" - Storytime in the Desert - Usery Park
HIKE CANCELLED Beardsley Trail Loop Hike - Lake Pleasant
Ride with the Ranger to the Clay Mine! - Cave Creek Regional Park
Pleasant Paddlers Program - Sunset and Full Moon Paddle Tour - Lake Pleasant
Adult Moonlight Hike - White Tank Mtn.

Trail Blazers: Fitness Hike - San Tan - 3/6/2015
Ranger-led Hike on the North Trail - McDowell - 3/6/2015
Backyard Birding - Usery Park - 3/6/2015
"Just for Kids" - Toddler Cruise - Usery Park - 3/6/2015
Bird Bingo Safari! - Cave Creek Regional Park - 3/6/2015
Night Hike -Estrella Park - 3/6/2015
Family Moonlight Hike - White Tank Mtn. - 3/6/2015
Full Moon Hike and Campfire - San Tan - 3/6/2015
Hiker’s Choice Full Moon Hike and Campfire - Usery Park - 3/6/2015
Moonlight Hike - Spur Cross - 3/6/2015
Hikers in the Trailhead Staging Area - McDowell - 3/7/2015
Horses, Gold, & Critters! - Cave Creek Regional Park - 3/7/2015
6th Annual Archaeology Expo - Spur Cross - Hike #1 - 3/7/2015
Archaeology Expo at Spur Cross - 3/7/2015
Archery 101 - San Tan - 3/7/2015
Trailside Demonstration - Rock Art Recording - White Tank Mtn. - 3/7/2015
Wag ‘n’ Walk Dog Adoption Hike - Usery Park - 3/7/2015
6th Annual Archaeology Expo - Spur Cross - Hike #2 - 3/7/2015
Become a Jr. Ranger - McDowell - 3/7/2015
Find the Naturalist on the Pipeline Canyon Trail - Lake Pleasant - 3/7/2015
Kid's Photo Scavenger Hunt - Usery Park - 3/7/2015
6th Annual Archaeology Expo - Spur Cross - Hike #3 - 3/7/2015
6th Annual Archaeology Expo - Spur Cross - Hike #4 - 3/7/2015
All About Raptors - Usery Park - 3/7/2015
6th Annual Archaeology Expo - Spur Cross - Scott Wood Talk - 3/7/2015
more...


General Park Hours
Sun-Thu: 6am-8pm
Fri-Sat: 6am-10pm
- 365 days a year 

Headquarters Admin Hours
Mon-Fri: 8am-4pm
except holidays 

Maricopa County Parks & Recreation Dept.
The Headquarter Administrative Offices are located at:
41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Rd.
Unit Operations Center

Morristown, AZ 85342
Ph: 602-506-2930 or (928) 501-9200
Fax: (602)372-8596
maricopacountyparks@mail.maricopa.gov

 
Our Parks:  
Adobe Dam  |  Buckeye Hills  |  Cave Creek  |  Desert Outdoor Ctr  |  Estrella Mtn  |  Lake Pleasant  |  McDowell Mtn  |  San Tan Mtn  |  Spur Cross  |  Usery Mtn  |  White Tank
Main Parks Homepage  

To visit a city website, click on the link below...
Apache Junction | Avondale | Buckeye | Carefree | Cave Creek | Chandler | El Mirage | Fountain Hills | Gila Bend | Gilbert | Glendale | Goodyear | Guadalupe | Litchfield Park | Mesa | Paradise Valley | Peoria | Phoenix | Queen Creek | Scottsdale | Surprise | Tempe | Tolleson | Wickenburg | Youngtown

 

 

  Maricopa Home      Site Map      Legal Information      Privacy/Security Policies
Maricopa County Home Page
Maricopa County || 301 W. Jefferson St. || Phoenix, AZ 85003
602-506-3011