Each year, park rangers respond to dozens of search or rescue incidents in the park. These frequently involve heat exhaustion, dehydration, climbing or scrambling and improper footwear.
We want your visit to be safe and enjoyable. Below are some of the potential hazards you may experience during your visit. Please become familiar with them, and keep them in mind while you're here.
Heat & Sun
During the summer, expect high temperatures, intense sunlight and low humidity. Eat plenty of food and drink at least one gallon of water each day...more if involved in strenuous activities. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing and a wide-brimmed hat. Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin. Consider saving strenuous activity for early mornings or evenings. Water is available at the visitor center and at Devils Garden Trailhead and Campground.
Wear sturdy shoes with enough tread to give you good traction. Do not hike in smooth-soled shoes or boots. Some trails cover uneven terrain and follow rock ledges
Climbing & Scrambling
Slickrock invites adventure. When you climb or scramble, be sure you can retrace your steps, and remember that it is often easier to go up than down. Sandstone is very slippery when wet or covered in snow.
Lightning & Flash Foods
Storms and flash floods can be powerful and sudden. When lightning is present, avoid lone trees, cliff edges and high ridges. Crouch low to the ground. Return to your vehicle if possible. Never try to cross a wash that is flooding.
Winter temperatures can drop well below freezing. Hypothermia is a hazard in late fall, winter and early spring. When hiking during these times, carry extra layers of clothing, foul-weather gear and a flashlight. Even a few inches of snow can hide cairns and trails...or make slickrock areas impassable.
Stay with companions while hiking; separation can mean getting lost. Do not count on a cellular phone to summon help; cellular service will not reach into many areas of Arches. If you become lost, stay where you are and wait for rescue. Wandering will endanger your life and make finding you difficult. When traveling alone, always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.