Arizona Hiking Safety

April 15, 2019

Arizona has an incredible climate and varied landscape, and the state has countless hiking trails of various difficulty levels that offer stunning views and great exercise. Hiking is more than just walking on a trail, however, and all Arizona hikers should know what to expect from enjoying the state’s many hiking routes.

General Hiking Safety Tips

Plan hiking trips in advance and prepare for potential hazards you may encounter and the climate during your hike. If on your trip you are injured due to another’s negligence, don’t hesitate to contact the personal injury attorneys in Phoenix at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. Our attorneys offer free consultations so you can explore your legal options.

  • Arizona has a hot and dry climate for most of the year, so sun protection is a must no matter where you plan to hike. Consider a wide-brimmed hat to block the sun and wear sunscreen with a high SPF to help prevent sunburn and skin cancer.
  • Insect repellant can prevent bites from bugs that carry infectious diseases.
  • Proper footwear is essential for even moderately difficult hiking trails. Wear heavy-duty hiking boots or durable sneakers that fit snugly but comfortably. Heavier footwear can help prevent slips and loss of balance on uneven terrain.
  • Bring emergency supplies. If you intend to hike all day, bring some high-protein snacks and plenty of water for each person in your party. Make sure someone knows where you plan to hike in case you lose cell phone service and have an accident; someone will know where to look for you.
  • Use good judgment. If you encounter a hiking trail marked as advanced or dangerous, only attempt the trail if you feel confident in your hiking skills. You must be willing to assume a measure of risk and have appropriate safety equipment to take on more challenging hiking trails.

Hiking Safety FAQs

Many new hikers and new visitors to Arizona who plan to hike have many questions about safe hiking in Arizona. Consider the following frequently asked questions and prepare accordingly for your next Arizona hiking trip.

Q: What should I bring on an Arizona hiking trip?

A: Hikers should bring the gear and supplies they need to ensure a safe hike while keeping their carrying loads minimal. The less a hiker needs to carry, the less strenuous the hike will be, lowering the chance of heatstroke or other injuries. Hikers should always bring lots of water in Arizona as daytime temperatures often exceed 100 degrees in the warmer months.

Q: What wildlife can I encounter while hiking in Arizona?

A: Arizona has a very diverse desert ecosystem, and hikers can see many species of birds, rabbits, and other wildlife on their hiking trips. Arizona is also home to several potentially dangerous animals like mountain lions, coyotes, wolves, black bears, and territorial javelinas. Additionally, the state is home to 13 species of venomous rattlesnakes, more than 40 species of venomous scorpions, Africanized honey bees, black widow spiders, and giant desert centipedes. Many of these creatures can cause painful or even dangerous bites and stings.

Q: Where are the best places to hike in Arizona?

A: Hikers of all skill and ability levels can find suitable trails all over Arizona. The state has one of the most beautiful landscapes of any state in the country, so any hiking trail is sure to please lovers of the outdoors. Plan a hike in advance and ask friends, coworkers, or other locals about the best hiking spots in Arizona. Be sure to only attempt hiking trails you feel confident you can handle and try to avoid hiking alone whenever possible.

Hiking is great exercise and suitable for people of almost all ages and skill levels. Parents should use extra caution when bringing their children on hikes and stick to simpler trails. Advanced hikers should always use appropriate safety equipment and climbing gear if necessary and be sure to let someone know where they plan to hike in case of an accident. Staying safe while hiking in Arizona can help avoid serious injuries, painful injuries from animals, and potentially fatal illness or heatstroke.