If you've been around Arizona for a long time, you've probably noticed the large amount of trails closed in recent years. Although this is more of a 4WD issue than biking and hiking, I have seen some hiking and biking trails closed too. It's so sad to see some of your favorite places to explore gone.
And it's hard to blame the private property owners, Forest Service or other entities that control these areas. I've seen what happens when stupid people hook up a tow strap to an old building and pull down a wall, shoot up the 1940s era appliances in a cabin or run over a fence to make a new trail.
Off-roading with 4WD vehicles, ATVs and Razors have become increasingly popular. Unfortunately, the added traffic on fewer trails can dramatically increase the trail's wear and tear (even if we are careful).
If we don't take care of our environment and treat Arizona with respect, our children and their children will not have any trails open for them to explore. I know, I know, most of us are good guys and tread lightly. Usually, it's one or two percent who ruin it for the rest of us. Still, there's some things to remember:
- Stay on the trail (don't make new trails through virgin desert)
- Pack all your trash out (even better, pick up the trash left by the idiots who came before you)
- Be respectful of the environment and teach this to your children
As many of you southern Arizonians know, it was too late to save most of Copper Creek (see picture above). But there's still a bunch more trails that are on the edge. Please do your part or these too will be just a memory.
Visit the Tread Lightly website for more information.
The Tread Lightly organization has developed a online awareness course. It's a 45 minute course that teaches you how to minimize your impact on the outdoors. You can visit the course by clicking here.
There's also a page for kids that you can visit by clicking here.
Planning on taking a 4WD trip? Please check the trail rating of the adventure you're taking and then the 4WD trail rating guide to ensure you and your vehicle are up to the challenge. You don't want to ruin your adventure by taking on more than you're able. Click on the link below for the 4WD trail rating guide.
Mountain biking is an exciting way to spend a day or afternoon. Please check the trail rating of the trail you're taking and then the mountain bike trail rating guide to ensure you're up to the challenge. You don't want to ruin your adventure by taking on more than you're able. Click on the link below for the mountain bike trail rating guide.
There's no better way to spend a day hiking in Arizona's wild beauty. Before you do, please check the trail rating of the trail you're taking and then the hiking trail rating guide to ensure you're up to the challenge. You don't want to ruin your adventure by taking on more than you're able. Click on the link below for the hiking trail rating guide.
What does 4 out of 5 stars mean? And what's the deal with the fear rating? Click on the link below to check out all there is to know about the Experience Arizona rating system.