In many instances, the Day Trips described on wickenburg-az.com include long rides on unpaved roads through remote Arizona desert. Here are a few suggestions for ensuring your safety on long, back road trips:
- Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to get back. Call them when you return or if you are delayed so they don’t worry.
- Make sure your vehicle is in top operating condition.
- Top off your fuel tank before you leave Wickenburg. Many towns do not have gas stations. Some “towns” on the map don’t even have buildings!
- Always carry water — both drinking water and water for your vehicle. If you’re not accustomed to the desert, be sure to drink a lot of water or Gatorade-like beverage to avoid dehyration.
- For trips over two hours, consider bringing lunch or a snack.
- If you have a cell phone, bring it — although it probably won’t work in some of the more remote areas, it might work if you need it.
- Avoid unpaved or unmaintained roads in wet weather. Never cross a wash when it is flooded.
- Temperature changes with altitude. High altitudes are colder than low altitudes. Bring appropriate clothing for your destination.
- When hiking in warm weather keep a lookout for snakes, especially in sandy washes.
- Do not enter mine shafts — even horizontal ones. They are dangerous!
- Do not trespass on posted private property. Respect the rights of property owners!
If you want some good, solid advice about backcountry hiking and exploration, be sure to read the Vulture Peak Rescue story, especially the two letters appended to the end.
The Girl Scout motto is “Be prepared.” That’s good advice for traveling in the desert.