Summer Hiking Safety

Warren Wasescha, Sun Lakes Hiking Club

It’s that time of year again when summer heat clashes with a desire to keep hiking. As much as it’s nice to exercise in air-conditioned comfort, there is something about getting out in nature that has a strong appeal for many.

With highs sometimes exceeding 110 degrees in the summer, you might question the logic of heading out to a trail to hike. But with some planning and safety strategies in mind, it is possible to hike and stay safe.

Foremost, make sure you have plenty of water. Two to three liters plus a backup bottle in case of an emergency is a safe bet. And once you’ve consumed half of your water, remember to turn around.

Next, have full sun protection to protect you from the direct heat of the sun. A brimmed hat and a long-sleeve SPF protection shirt are good choices.

Bring snacks and make sure you’ve got plenty of electrolyte supplements.

Hike with others, and if you go it alone, let someone know where you’re going and call them when you’re back at the trailhead.

Most importantly, start early. If it’s especially hot, pick trails that are short but satisfying and are close to Sun Lakes. The two-mile round-trip Kiwanis Trail to Telegraph Pass is one suggestion. It’s not unusual for club members to start their hikes before sunrise using a headlamp to light their way. That way you’re off the trail before the temperatures begin to climb.

Like the idea of hiking socially with other like-minded individuals? Want to hike some of the best trails in the Valley? We’d love to have you be part of our group. We are a friendly, inclusive group of hikers who welcome all able-bodied hikers. We hike formally from November through April and informally in the summer. Our goal is to make group hiking fun, challenging, social, and safe.

All past hikes, along with information about our club, can be viewed on our Meetup site. Just type “Sun Lakes Hiking Club” into your web browser to locate us. Interested in summer hiking or have questions not found on our Meetup site? Please reach out to Stu Frost at [email protected].

We look forward to hiking with you!