“Hiking in Arizona is just majestic,” said Jon Mincks, desert safety instructor at Arizona Hiking Shack. “You can be in so many different types of environments.”
If you’re looking for something to do in between spring training games, Mincks said hiking should be at the top of your list.
“If you’re here for any amount of time, Phoenix has great restaurants and entertainment, but getting out and just feeling the silence of the desert will let you hear the things you can’t feel anywhere else,” Mincks said.
Some popular mountains to hike in Phoenix include Dreamy Draw on the North Mountain Preserve, Camelback Mountain and Papago Park, which is right next to the Phoenix Zoo.
“On the west side, you can do Thunderbird Park and this is a great, easy and accessible hike for everybody,” Mincks said. “There is Willow Canyon Trail or Mesquite Canyon Trail. These are places you can get out a bit more into the wild and not long hikes.”
If you want to hike in the East Valley, you have the Superstition Mountains.
“There are incredible formations and canyons that will twist you, but one thing you want to know is where you’re [going] and maybe have a map,” Mincks said.
Safety is something Mincks teaches people at the Arizona Hiking Shack.
“The sun is evaporating your sweat faster than you can make it, so you don’t really realize how fast you’re getting dehydrated here,” Mincks said. “I would say someone out there doing a good hike [should] take twice the water you think you’re going to need.”
Some other things to keep you safe on the hiking trails include wearing sunscreen, a hat and lightweight clothing.
“Everybody knows about rattlesnakes here,” Mincks said. “Those are certainly a concern, but if you’re shuffling your feet, making noise, the snake will tell you they’re there.
“If there are bees around you, you’re probably close to its hive and really the only thing to do is go the other way,” Mincks said.
A few things to remember when you’re hiking, but well worth it to see the beautiful scenery in Arizona.
For more information visit www.hikingshack.com.