Hidden hazards when exploring Utah

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With the warmer weather conditions Utah is now experiencing, many are looking for new adventures to discover. Utah offers a variety of beautiful places to explore, but there are a few things to keep in mind regarding wildlife, slot canyons, and flash floods.

Give wildlife some space

Wildlife may suddenly become very protective and territorial. Feeding grounds, such as mountainous terrain and even valleys are vital for the survival of herds.

During early spring hikers began to see baby critters of all types emerging. It is very important to keep in mind that any animal is extremely protective when it comes to their offspring, especially the mother. Hikers need to admire from a safe distance to ensure their safety from animals big and small. Deer, elk and moose are most commonly seen in this region. However, there have been bear sightings near the mountains since early spring.

To manage risks that come with exploring, one should gather information about the wildlife in their area prior to leaving adventuring off.

Slot canyons come with dangers

Slot canyons are found in places like Zion, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. These slot canyons are generally worn into Sandstone or Limestone rock areas and are particularly enticing because of the beautiful colors they offer. They have high narrow walls full of bright colors and do not offer many routes of escape.

According to the News Parks Traveler website: “These canyons can be treacherous even without the flash flood hazard. Canyoneering is a dangerous sport due to the needed rappels, awkward footing at times, and heights. Despite the dangers, the slot canyons continue to draw the adventurous. Over the years, they’ve been the scene of many deaths.”

Flash flooding is scary

Flooding has taken many lives of unsuspecting travelers. Although a storm may be many miles upstream, it still may affect hikers and campers in the lower region with little to no warning for them to escape to higher ground. Sand or gravel which looks like water may have run through the area at one time may mean the area is in danger of a flash flood.

The bottom line, when exploring Utah travel with someone who has experience and remember to pack the proper equipment for hiking and camping. Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return home. Take the necessary precautions to ensure you stay out of harm’s way.