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Hiking in Pinal County
 
Arizona’s weather can fluctuate daily. Dress according to what is and very importantly pack for what could be. Days may be warm but when the sun goes down, the nighttime may become a bit chilly. Be prepared for warm or cold.
 
Hiking can be very exhilarating for some and exhausting for others. Know your limitations prior to starting your hike. Search and Rescue have been called out numerous times to locate a hiker that has been unable to complete the hike due to medical reasons or wasn’t prepared with essential items needed for a trek into the wilderness.
 

Gear Guide
 
Listed below are items that are recommended for hiking in Arizona. Whether your hike is 2 hours or a day long adventure, assess your own personal needs. Make sure safety is your number one priority.


 
Candle and Matches Cell phone Clothing
Compass First Aid Kit Food (salty snacks)
Flashlight w/extra batteries Hat Insect repellant
Map Nylon filament Pocket knife
Pocket mirror (signaling device) Prescription glasses(extra pair) Prescription medications
Radio w/extra batteries Space blanket or piece of plastic (for warmth or shelter) Sunglasses
Sunscreen Trash bag (for poncho) Water/Emergen-C Electrolite Replacement w/aluminum cup
Waterproof matches or matches in a waterproof tin Water purification tablets Whistle (to scare off animals or to use as a signaling device)

 
Always take along plenty of water. Water is the most important item to take with you when hiking in Arizona. The lack of water during a hike is the single most item hikers are without when rescued by the Search and Rescue team. Underestimating how much water you will need during the course of your hike can mean life or death.

Trails in Pinal County
 


Trails Location
Silly Mountain Park Apache Junction
Hieroglyphic Trail Gold Canyon
Lost Goldmine Trail Apache Junction
Peralta Trail Gold Canyon
Picket Post Mountain Superior
Boyce Thompson Arboretum Trail Superior
San Tan Mountain Regional Park Queen Creek
Casa Grande Mountain Trails Casa Grande
Gila River Canyons Trail Kearny
Picacho Peak Park Picacho
Arizona National Scenic Trail Arizona
Siphon Draw Trail Apache Junction
CAP Recreational Trail (In process) Pinal County (110 Miles)
Palo Verde Regional Park (In process) Pinal County (23,000 Acres)
Peralta Regional Park (In process) Pinal County (480 Acres)
Tortolita Regional Park (In process) Pinal County (27,500 Acres)


  Hikers Beware!
 
Never hike alone. Even with good navigational skills, nature can turn you around. Having another hiker with you can provide that additional help in using the map or compass. The best thing to do is STOP – Stop Think Observe Plan. A partner to hike with can help in various ways: encouragement and support, directions, medical help, and help in carrying gear.
 
Carry less. Always travel as lightly as possible. The heaviest items in your pack should be your food and water.
 
Walk and Talk. If you can talk while you are walking, you are walking at the perfect speed. When you huff and puff, your legs, your digestive system, your whole body does not get enough oxygen to function efficiently. Your energy reserves get used up very quickly. This makes your legs feel heavy and you may feel sick.
 
Do not exceed. If you have asthma, heart problems, diabetes, knee, back or any other health or medical problem, limit your exertion and especially your exposure to the heat. The altitude, the strenuous climbing, and dehydration may make your medical problem worse. Always stay within your physical limitations.
 
Take a break. A break of five to seven minutes every 30-60 minutes can alleviate some of the heaviness that has accumulated during the hike. Eat some food, drink fluids, and take this break to really enjoy the view. These breaks can recharge your batteries.
   
Food, fuel, fun. Stay hydrated and eat often. Eat and drink more than you normally do. Eat before, during, and after you hike. Eat before you are hungry. Drink water before you are thirsty. No matter what the temperature, you need water and energy to keep going. Snacks like whole grain cereal and energy bars, nuts, dried fruit are all good sources to bring on your hike. The great thing about these light snacks is that they are light in weight and you can also consume them while you are still walking.
 
Keeping cool while hiking in Arizona takes a very large amount of energy (food). Salty snacks and water or sports drinks should be part of any hike. Food is your body’s primary source of fuel and salts (electrolytes) while hiking in a desert climate.
 
Your best defense against illness and exhaustion is to eat a healthy breakfast, a snack every time you take a drink, and a rewarding full dinner at the end of the day. This is not a time to diet.
 
**Always carry a minimum of 2 quarts per person per day. In the summer, many people, especially health professionals, advise individuals to carry one gallon per person per day. The Park Service recommends you carry between 3 and 4 quarts during any time of the year while hiking in Arizona.
 

Trail Safety, Ethics, and Uses
 

 
 

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