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FIRE BAN INFORMATION
Effective
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - Thursday, September 3, 2015 (Tentative)
Maricopa County's regional parks will initiate the annual fire ban. This includes banning the use of all
campfire, fire pits and charcoal grills; however, it is still acceptable to use gas/propane grills in designated areas such as the ramada areas, semi-developed and developed camping sites, and along the shoreline at Lake Pleasant Regional Park.
If the parks do not receive ample rain during the monsoon season, the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department
may extend the fire ban to protect the parks resources and ensure visitor safety. To learn more, click here.

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.

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Friday Fitness Hike- 4 Peaks/Horse Staging Area - McDowell
"Looking for Wildlife" on the Cottonwood Trail - Lake Pleasant
All About Mule Deer - Usery Park
Bug Theater with the Ranger! - Cave Creek Regional Park

CANCELLED Looking for Rattlesnakes with the Ranger - Lake Pleasant - 5/30/2015
Archery 101 a - Cave Creek Regional Park - 5/30/2015
Archery 101 b - Cave Creek Regional Park - 5/30/2015
Believe it or Not! -Estrella Park - 5/30/2015
Archery "OPEN RANGE"- Cave Creek Regional Park - 5/30/2015
All About Scorpions - San Tan - 5/30/2015
All About Scorpions - Usery Park - 5/30/2015
Scorpion Hunt (First one of the year!!) - Usery Park - 5/30/2015
Scorpion Scavenger Hunt - San Tan - 5/30/2015
Hohokam Houses - the Ruins of Spur Cross - 5/31/2015
Sonoran Desert Simplified - San Tan - 5/31/2015
Arts and Crafts for Kids -Estrella Park - 5/31/2015
Boy Scouts of America Lake Pleasant Camp- Session 1 - 6/1/2015
Storytelling - Tales of the Sonoran Desert - White Tank Mtn. - 6/1/2015
Night Shredders - San Tan - 6/3/2015
Night Hike -Estrella Park - 6/3/2015
Fitness Thursday -Estrella Park - 6/4/2015
Summer Fitness Hike - Cave Creek Regional Park - 6/4/2015
Animal Tracks & Desert Holes - McDowell "The County Parks are getting "Wet 'n' Wild" this Summer!" - 6/4/2015
Homeschool: Monsoon Madness - San Tan - 6/4/2015
Fridays Fitness Hike- McDowell -Trailhead Staging Area - 6/5/2015
Night Owl Hike: Adults Only - San Tan - 6/5/2015
Rock Art of Spur Cross - 6/6/2015
Desert Denizen's - Cave Creek Regional Park - 6/6/2015
Feeding Frenzy! - Cave Creek Regional Park - 6/6/2015
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...
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