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How you can be safe before hitting the trails

TUCSON – As the weather in Tucson starts to heat up, many people may be heading outside. Officials say before hitting the trails, beware of wildlife, and bring plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat to protect your head.

“It’s warming up so a lot of the reptiles are coming out,” Heidi Schewel Public Affairs Specialist with Coronado National Forest said, “Snakes, Gila Monsters, insects … active bees and wasps.”

She also says to be aware of stream currents that could change rapidly.

“Snow is melting now up in the mountain ranges and that water is coming down through the canyons and that’s going to impact some of the trails,” Schewel said. “One example is Seven Falls trail. That trail crosses the creek a number of times and that water is waist high and it’s very cold.”

“I have waded probably 20 streams already since I’ve been here because there is a lot of snow in the mountains and a lot of water runoff,” hiker Tom Schmick said, “Just make sure. Normally, the water level is not above my knees and then I feel safe to cross, especially (when I have) the poles that provide stability.”

Besides keeping your eyes on the trail, you should also be aware of the skies.

“We’re experiencing some weather from the El Nino that’s throwing some storms our way,” Schewel said. “It’s important for people to know that even (with it) happening up high in the mountains (it’s) going to send water down these what we call slot canyons.”

For more information on trails and their conditions, click here.

Charity Freeman

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