Arizona is wrapping up one of its worst heat waves in decades, with temperatures reaching up to 120 degrees. That’s the kind of heat that can literally melt your feet into the ground. So while everyone else is hiding indoors, what’s the secret to braving the trails in this scorching furnace?
Seriously, what is wrong with you? Do you have something to prove? Is there some kind of death wish you are trying to execute? There are so few reasons to hike in heat like this and so many reasons not to.
You Will Die Out There
It happens every year. Someone who thinks he or she can handle the heat will die on the trail. And it isn’t just the elderly or sick. Just last year, a 25-year-old man died on the Peralta Trail near Gold Canyon and a 28-year-old woman died mountain biking on Desert Vista Trail. They were both in perfectly good health.
Helicopters Literally Cannot Fly
Accidents happen on the trail—a fall, a snakebite, dehydration—and Arizona rescue crews are able to get hikers out of bad situations via helicopter. Except when it’s 116 degrees or hotter. Those choppers will literally not fly and if you do get stranded in this heat, you’re on your own.
People Bring Their Dogs Like Psychopaths
Jesus, people. If you have a death wish, do it on your own time and leave the all the very good dogs at home. Even on a “mild” day of 100 degrees, the ground is like lava for doggie paws. Dogs also cannot sweat (that’s why they pant) so they overheat more easily than humans. If you love your dog, let them chill indoors.
There’s Other Shit to Do
Do you not see all the swimming pools in the valley? Go jump in one. Go drive two hours north and cool off in Flagstaff. Or, if you do want to hike so badly, at least find a good swimming hole to keep it cool. Phoenix is built to entertain us in heat like this. Take advantage of it and wait for cooler temps to go back on the trail.