Be Summer Safe & Ready
Last updated 8/3/2022 at 11:46am
Although winter and spring are the primary visitation seasons in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, many visitors come to the Park for reasons directly tied to the summer months. Whether looking for the experience of extreme heat or the thrill of fabulous night skies, visitors can have a great time in the desert in summer if they come prepared and know what to expect.
There are two main things to consider if you are planning to explore the desert in summer: Heat and Water. Because there are fewer visitors, if something happens you will most likely be on your own until you reach safety or help reaches you. Cell phones do not work in many areas of the Park, so be sure you tell someone when you leave, where you're going, and when you expect to return.
Most summer days are too warm to safely go on long hikes. Any daytime exploration on foot should be done as early in the morning as possible and finished by 10 a.m. in order to avoid the highest temperatures of the day. If you do find yourself heading out and about in the mornings, be sure you have at least a gallon of water per person for a 3-mile hike, sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves and pants for sun protection, and sturdy shoes. Ground temperatures can be 20 degrees warmer than air temperatures, so it's a good idea to leave your pet at home to prevent the burning of their paw pads. One thing to consider is that the nights are cooler and offer great views of Anza-Borrego's dark night skies.
Water is your most precious resource in the desert. In summer, the importance of that resource goes up exponentially. Our friends at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park® put together a handy tool to figure out just how much water you should be taking with you when you're out for a hike in summer. Most important tip about water: drink it, don't save it for later. If you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated.
Other Safety Measures:
Always have a first aid kit with you. Desert additions to a standard first aid kit include a comb to remove cactus, instant ice packs, and electrolyte powder.
Always take extra water with you. Just throw a gallon of water in your trunk. That way it's there whenever you might need it.
If your vehicle breaks down, STAY WITH IT. From the air, a plane can spot a vehicle much more easily than it can spot a person. That vehicle will also provide you with important shade.
– Anza-Borrego Foundation