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Fall Hiking: Safe & Beautiful

The San Bernardino Mountains offer fresh air

Read About Fall Hiking: Safe & Beautiful

Fall Hiking: Safe & Beautiful

October 28, 2018

By Paola Zarate

Tips to Make Your Fall San Bernardino Mountains Hike Safe

The San Bernardino Mountains offer fresh air, breathtaking wildlife and a respite from the thriving city. Located in Southern California, these mountains are rugged and vast. Gaze out onto Lake Arrowhead, where the surrounding trees will be changing into brilliant oranges, yellows, and reds during the brisk autumn months. Here, you'll find the beautiful American black bear, coyotes, the Bighorn sheep, the grey fox, deer and much more. If you want to have a safe and secure hike while you're out in the mountains, then be sure to follow these tips.

Be aware of your surroundings

It's important to have a map handy, regardless of where you're hiking. When it comes to the San Bernardino Mountains, you can find a map online or you can purchase a map from any of the San Bernardino ranger stations. These maps are detailed and will show you the locations of campgrounds, recreational sites, as well as any public information sites and activities. This will be essential while hiking to keep track of where you are on the trail. You will also want to have your phone on hand to keep in touch with your fellow travelers and for emergencies.

Pack the essentials

When you're out in the mountains, you'll want to make sure that you have all the right gear handy. This includes water to keep you hydrated, snacks for a nutritional boost, a first-aid kit, trekking poles, matches, a knife, a headlamp and, specifically in the winter, sufficiently warm clothes. This means layers, long pants, a warm hat and socks, a long-sleeve shirt and gloves.

Keep everyone in the group in sight

This is especially important when you're hiking with children. Be sure to keep an eye on everyone, as you may have hikers at a variety of skill levels and speeds. Pace yourself and your group and keep to the trail. You want to make sure that you have enough energy to power through and make it to the end of your hike without being out of breath.

Hiking during the day

If you're a beginner, don't know the area very well or you're playing it safe, it's smart to hike during the day. In the winter, it gets dark earlier, so you may want to start your hike earlier than you would in the spring or summer. At night, it's much easier to get lost and there will be a variety of animals emerging from the forest. So, start early.

Keep the weather in mind

You'll want to check out the weather before you set out on your hike, as fall weather can be unpredictable. Rain, sleet, wind, and even snow can cause a variety of dangerous hazards, such as avalanches, that you will want to avoid. There may also be limited visibility and, especially if you're traveling with children, you may want to postpone your hike when faced with these conditions.

If you're traveling in the San Bernardino Mountains in the winter, you'll want to use common sense and keep these quick and easy tips in mind. Be safe, be aware of your surroundings at all times and have a good time!

About the author

Paola Zarate

Paola Zarate

Paola Zarate traded in her hometown in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to Arrowbear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California several years ago. She now attends college and is pursing a teaching career.

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