Slideshow B Desert Whether you’re an outdoor warrior and hike throughout each season or a visitor seeing the beauty of Thunderbird Park for the first time, there’s no better place to experience the majestic scenery of Arizona’s West Valley.   Thunderbird Conservation Park features 1,185 acres and 15 miles of multi-use trails, many of which have been constructed by volunteer groups.  Visitors have the opportunity to participate in park activities that include picnicking, hiking, horseback riding (bring your own horse), mountain bike riding, jogging and bird watching. Here are 5 safety tips from a 27 year Glendale native to help you have an enjoyable time sightseeing with friends and family.

1. Safety First 

Protect your skin from harmful rays by wearing sun screen.  Also, there are lightweight backpacks and first aid kits you can invest in.  These kits generally have antiseptic wipes, butterfly bandages, sterile gauze, and adhesive waterproof tape. It's important to be prepared and ready for the unexpected.  Perhaps you will be somebody’s hero and will be able to provide a bandage for somebody in need of one, all because you were prepared.

2. Water, It's Your Friend 

While staying active, it is important to stay hydrated.  Be sure to drink water before, during and after your hike.  Even if you are not thirsty, be sure to drink plenty of water.  When you are hiking you are losing moisture and need to make sure you are replenishing your body.  Although water can be one of the heaviest things to carry and might weigh you down, carry as much water as you comfortably can. Thunderbird Park-9836 small

3. Snacks Equal Fuel

Be sure to consume a healthy breakfast and eat throughout your hike to prevent exhaustion.  Food is your body’s main source of fuel when burning calories during a hike.  For protein, eat nuts and seeds, and to replenish electrolytes, eat saltier snacks like beef jerky, pretzels and crackers.

4. Dress for Success

Dress for the occasion.  Weather will be in the 90's during our spring time and will start to feel warm for our visitors.  The best materials to wear while hiking are synthetic, soft, lightweight, and clothes that pull moisture away from the skin.  Make sure your shoes are comfortable, durable and can handle rocky conditions.  Hats are a great way to keep the sun off your face and protect you from direct harmful rays.

5. Recharge your Body

Many people underestimate how warm it can get and how tired they really are.  If your body is saying it’s tired, it’s time to slow down, rest and take a drink of water.  Enjoy the beautiful spring scenery and take some photos of the view!  After you have conquered your hike, be sure to stretch out and enjoy a calcium and protein enriched beverage to hydrate the body. Thunderbird Park-9785 small Stop by the Glendale Visitor Center for your free travel size sun screen before you hit the trails. The visitor center is located at 5800 W. Glenn Drive, Suite 140, Glendale, AZ 85301.