Keeping safe on the trails during monsoon - Tucson News Now

Keeping safe on the trails during monsoon

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The water that comes with the monsoon can be an attractive quality to summertime hikes in southern Arizona, but there are several dangers that casual and experienced hikers should know about.

Exhaustion or dehydration are fairly common calls for the Southern Arizona Rescue Association.

Volunteer Anjani Polit said people will be on a trail, or possible wander off the beaten path, and they simply don't have the strength to get back. A quart of water for every hour hiking in the heat is recommended.

Polit said the natural water at popular hiking destinations like Seven Falls, Romero Pools and Tanque Verde Falls can be dangerous. In fact, she said Tanque Verde Falls, which is a fairly short hike from the trail head to the water, is one of SARA's most frequent response locations.

"Flash floods and just even running water, people getting swept away," she said. "Also cliff jumping can lead to very serious injuries and death out here."

Monsoon storms can quickly change the water levels in this natural pools, so Polit advised against diving or jumping into any unknown waters.

Night hikes might be considered as a way to enjoy the outdoors while avoiding the summer heat, but Polit said there's a better time to do it.

"I'd recommend early mornings as the best time to go hiking around here," Polit said. "You're avoiding the hottest times of day and you still have good visibility."

Other suggestions for summertime hikes include a cell phone for possible emergency calls, a hiking partner if possible and notifying someone of your time and location for the planned hike.

If your contact hasn't heard from you, he or she can notify the authorities to search for you.

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