Hiking trails remain open, for now anyway, during the coronavirus pandemic. As many people are looking for way to stay active and connect with nature, it can make for some crowded trails and, with narrow paths, can make it tough to practice social distancing. With that in mind, Friends of the Desert Mountains offers the following tips for outdoor recreation during the California shelter-in-place order:
Note, the following is directly from Friends of the Desert Mountains:
- Our community comes first. Hiking and other forms of outdoor recreation are currently allowed under the California shelter-in-place order, however please check for updates before heading outside. The health of our community should be our first priority when choosing when, where, how, and if to recreate. Always follow the current federal, state, county, and local guidelines.
- Be prepared. Check the weather before you leave, bring plenty of food and water, and stay on the trail. Stay home if there is rain, thunderstorms, or high temperatures in the forecast, and carry “The 10 Essentials” to be self-sufficient on the trail. Now is not the time to burden emergency responders with search and rescue calls.
- Stay close to home. There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails right here in the Coachella Valley, and this is a great time of year to explore almost all of them. Road trips, through hikes, and campouts have the potential to overwhelm the resources of the rural communities that service many national and state parks and should be avoided.
- Avoid heavily used trails, like the Herb Jeffries (Bump & Grind), Homestead (The Cross), or the Lykken trails. The sheer number of people on many of these trails makes keeping at least six feet distance from other hikers difficult or impossible. Take this opportunity to seek out different options that are less crowded or are wide enough to accommodate more people. Use your best judgement when you arrive at any trail. If the parking is full, consider changing your plans to hike elsewhere or during a different time of day.
You can get more info at the Desert Mountains website.