Caption: Try not to hike alone - it’s safer and more fun to do the trail with a friend.
Keep your Vehicle Safe and Valuables Secured:
- Make sure you park only on paved surfaces. Parking on unpaved surfaces is illegal, generates dust and poses a fire risk.
- Before leaving your car, make sure your valuables are stored out of sight. When possible, leave valuables such as a wallet, credit cards or purse at home. If you must bring valuables with you in your car, bring along a small pack and take them with you on your hike. At the very least, secure valuables in your vehicle's trunk before arriving at the trailhead as thieves have been reported to use binoculars to watch vehicles arriving at lots to see if owners hide or secure valuables.
- Lock your car and take your keys with you (do not try to hide keys under a tire or car bumper).
Report suspicious activity to the Police Department's Crime Stop at (602) 262-6151.
Keep Yourself Safe
- It is important to remember that the Phoenix mountain preserves are open, undeveloped desert areas. Hikers can encounter rocky terrain, rattlesnakes, bees and other potential hazards native to the Sonoran Desert. Bees are a natural part of the Sonoran Desert ecosystem. View tips on bee safety from the University of Arizona Agricultural Extension office.
- Make sure someone knows where you'll be hiking and when you expect to return.
- Be prepared -- know the conditions
- Try not to hike alone - it’s safer and more fun to do the trail with a friend.
- Know your limitations. Don’t do more than you are able.
- Remember, even if you are hydrated, you can still suffer from heat-related illness. On the hottest summer days, consider whether it's safe to hike at all. If you do choose to hike, consider hiking only in the early morning or early evening when there is more shade.
- Being along the essentials
- Bring plenty of water (One quart for short hikes-more for longer hikes).
- A water pack is preferable for you to keep your hands free while hiking.
- Wear appropriate footwear, preferably hiking boots.
- Wear light-colored, comfortable clothing.
- Bring a hat and sunblock (SPF 15 minimum).
- Basic first aid supplies.
- Cell phone.
- What to do When You Need Help:
S.T.O.P. (Stop, Think, Observe, Plan). Your brain is your #1 survival tool.
If you are lost or injured, do not panic.
If you need help, call 9-1-1 for emergencies.
Know your location. Look for the nearest trail marker or any noticeable landmark such as a bench, wash or tree.
Identify the emergency situation (Be specific regarding the condition of an injured person).
Caption: Pets can be curious about desert animals and burrows in which they live. Keeping your dog leashed will help you keep her safe and out of harms way.
Keep the Preserves Safe - Observe Trail Etiquette
- Phoenix mountain preserves are open, undeveloped desert areas. Hikers can encounter rocky terrain, rattlesnakes and other potential hazards native to the Sonoran Desert. Staying on trails and observing trail etiquette will help to ensure that your preserve outing is a safe one.
- ALWAYS stay on a designated trail. Phoenix city ordinances prohibit trailblazing
- Learn to share the trails with all other users.
- In general, bike riders yield to both hikers and horseback riders; hikers yield to horseback riders. However, for all trail users, downhill yields to uphill. Use common sense and courtesy while on the trails.
- Announce your intentions and slow your pace when passing someone on the trails.
- Do not litter.
- Destruction or removal of plants, animals, historical, prehistoric or geological sites are prohibited.
- Do not chase or harass wildlife.
- Avoid putting your hands and feet anywhere you cannot see.
- Remember the 3 C’s: Courtesy, Communication and Common Sense.