We want your visit to be safe and enjoyable. Each year, park rangers respond to dozens of search or rescue incidents in the park. These frequently involve heat exhaustion and dehydration.
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.
Safety for Boaters
Before going out on the water, check weather forecasts. If a storm breaks while you are out, seek shelter in a protected cove immediately and wait until the storm passes. Lightning is also a hazard on open water.
The water level at Lake Meredith can fluctuate greatly, depending on the weather. Always approach the shore with caution and watch for shallows and submerged debris. Depending on lake levels, there can be shallow areas in the middle of the lake and care should be taken to watch for shallow water.
Many persons who drown never intend to enter the water. Distances to shore and across the lake are easily underestimated. Don't overestimate your abilities. Always wear a life jacket. All boaters must have required safety equipment on board their boat.
Safety for Hunters – and Visitors During Hunting Season
Lake Meredith offers areas for hunting many species of mammal, bird and water fowl. The dates and harvest limits are set by Texas Parks and Wildlife. Please be aware of this if are not hunting, but you choose to hike or camp during hunting season. Hunters are required to wear 400 square inches of daylight florescent orange with 144 square inches appearing on both chest and back, and daylight florescent orange headwear must be worn.
Proper Footwear and Clothing
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 may be covered in loose dirt or rocks.
While the summer is often hot and dry, the late fall, winter and early spring seasons can be cold and windy. Wear insulating layers of clothing and don't forget a hat and gloves or mittens!
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. Carry and drink water during all activities, such as hiking. 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 Sanford-Yake and Fritch Fortress Campgrounds and the Alibates Visitor Center.
Lightning & Flash Floods
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.
Rattlesnakes and scorpions are venomous, but will leave you alone unless disturbed or cornered. Wear sturdy boots and watch where you step or place your hands.
Stay with companions while hiking; separation can mean getting lost. Do not count on a cell phone to summon help; cell service may be spotty in some parts of Lake Meredith. 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.