Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area - Safety

To safely enjoy Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, please respect yourselves and others by recognizing the unique challenges that visiting the Mojave Desert presents. Being prepared will make your visit here even more enjoyable.

Desert animals
When placing your hands and feet, use extra caution. Rattlesnakes, scorpions or venomous spiders may be sheltered behind boulders or under rocks and shrubs. Do not touch, collect or try to kill these animals.
 
Emergencies 
Mobile phone coverage in this area is unreliable. If you have coverage, please dial 911. If not, please ask other visitors to notify employees at the visitor center that you need assistance. In either case, make sure to leave your name, phone number, location, description of issue, vehicle type and license plate.

Flash Floods 
Red Rock flooding by Kate SoromWhen hiking, avoid canyons during rainstorms and be prepared to move to higher ground. While driving, be alert for water running in the normally dry desert washes and across road dips. Flooding occurs here more quickly due to the topography. Do not walk or drive through flood water flowing across a road.


General safety 
Let friends or family members know where you are going and what time you expect to be back. Don’t rely on mobile phones during your visit as coverage in the area can be unreliable or non-existent, especially within canyons. Leave your valuables at home. If you leave your car, take your purse or backpack with you and lock your doors. Never leave packages in plain sight where they may tempt someone to break in to your vehicle. 

Heat
Temperatures can average more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months. The best protection against heat is drinking plenty of water and limiting exposure to the sun during the hottest parts of the day. If you feel dizzy, nauseous or get a headache, immediately get out of the sun and drink plenty of water. Dampen your clothing to lower your body temperature. To be safe, bring more water than you think you will need.
 
Lightning
Lightning storms frequently occur in the afternoon during the summer months. To prevent lightning from striking you, avoid high places and seek cover in buildings or in vehicles with the windows rolled up. If caught outdoors, crouch down on both feet with your arms wrapped around your knees and wait out the storm.
 
Water
Bring and drink at least one gallon (four liters) of water per day if you are hiking, the day is hot or the trail is exposed to direct sunlight. Dehydration can happen to hikers even in fall and winter due to low humidity. The visitor center offers vending machines where bottled water is available for purchase. Water in natural springs has not been tested and should be left for use by native wildlife. 
 
What to Wear
For hiking, select shoes that provide a comfortable fit, ankle stability and protection against cactus spines which fall off the plant onto the trail. Wear clothes that provide protection against the sun, wind and cold temperatures (such as hats, long sleeves, long pants, etc.) and apply sunscreen. Dressing in layers is recommended since fall and winter can bring changeable weather. Rain, hail and snow flurries may occur during winter months, especially in February and March.

  

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