It’s desert hiking season! We love hiking in the desert this time of year as the weather is much cooler. Here are our top 5 tips for winter desert hiking to enjoy your time and stay safe.
1. Check the weather. If there is any rain in the forecast anywhere near where you are hiking avoid hiking any washes, canyons, or low laying areas prone to flash floods.
2. Bring sun protection. Even when the temps are cooler, you will still need to be covered up as most desert hikes have no shade.
3. Layer your clothes. It can be very cold starting your hike and then warm up later in the day. Consider wearing desert gaiters to help keep sand out of your hiking shoes + protect your lower legs from harsh plants. Bring wind protection as it can get very windy as well.
4. Always bring your ten essentials including a multi tool. Multi tools are handy for any accidental “cactus encounters”. Make sure you bring plenty of water as even in the cooler seasons reliable sources for water to filter are very rare.
5. Know how to navigate with a map and compass. It is very easy to get disoriented in the desert as much of the terrain looks the same. Do not go off trail unless you have very good navigation skills.