Summer is a great time to get out and have fun in the canyon! Though Laguna Canyon Foundation’s monthly “Keep it Wild” volunteer days are officially on hold for the summer months, we still offer hikes and summer events – you can see what’s offered and register online. Make sure to check out our special summer events like Blacklighting for National Moth Week at the end of July and our Full Moon Hike in August, and doublecheck times – some hikes have earlier start times to avoid the midday summer heat.
Whether you’re joining us for a guided hike or enjoying the trails on your own, it’s important to keep health and safety in mind, especially during the summer. The canyon can get very hot and it’s easy to become dehydrated or overheated. Keep these tips in mind while hiking or biking:
- Wear light, loose clothing and a hat.
- Wear sunscreen and reapply as needed.
- Bring plenty of water and stay hydrated – drink before you think you need to.
- Start first thing in the morning, before the sun gets too high.
- If hiking on a dog legal trail, be aware that dogs are often more sensitive to heat. Don’t put your best friend in danger.
Be aware of animals as well! Snakes live in our parks too, and you may be lucky enough to see one sunning itself on the trail. If you see a snake, remember these tips, modified from the American Hiking Society:
- Leave snakes alone. Most bites occur when people get too close or try to touch or kill a snake. Snakes can strike faster and farther than you might think – some nearly half their body length. If you see a snake in the wild, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet.
- Never touch a snake, even if you think it is dead. The fangs of a dead snake can still inject venom.
- Don’t step into places outdoors that you can’t see. Don’t pick up rocks or firewood unless you are out of a snake’s striking distance. Be cautious and alert when climbing rocks. If you have to traverse a fallen log, step on the log and then down instead of just over.
- Wearing boots and long pants when hiking may prevent snakebites. Remain on the trail and out of long grass. Always wear closed-toed shoes.
And coyotes, while a rare sight, are an important part of the canyon ecosystem. Read our blog post on coyotes to learn more about these predators and follow simple practices to keep both them and yourself safe.
Have fun and #KeepItWild!