Hiking Safety

Make a Gear list

Though Maxwell Falls isn’t a big hike, an “uh-oh” moment on the trail because you forgot something can be unpleasant at best or hazardous at worst. Must haves are:

  • water
  • extra water
  • basic first aid kit
  • rain gear
  • bug repellant (preferably with DEET)
  • a compass
  • a map
  • basic provisions
  • and a little extra food

 Know Yourself and Your Limits

Be smart, stay safe, and choose a hike within your abilities.

If you have asthma, diabetes, a heart condition, knee or back problems, or any other health or medical issue, limit both your exertion and your exposure to harsh weather. The altitude, strenuous climbing, and dehydration will combine to make any medical problem worse. Stay within your training, physical limitations, and abilities.

Let People Know Where You’re Going

Even if you are with a group, let people know where you are going and when you will be back. If there is a catastrophe, this lets a search party know where to look for you.

Bring a Map

GPS is a wonderful tool, but there are times when signals fail or batteries die. Make sure you have a map and can read it on the trail.

Keep to Established Trails

Making loud noises or wandering away from the established trails can put you into direct contact with snakes and other dangerous animals, so avoid it when possible. As an unmaintained park, conditions off the trail can be hazardous and include steep rock faces and loose rocks and soil that can cause serious falls.

 Take Basic Provisions

Covered under the gear list too, we can’t emphasize this enough. You need energy to go up and come down.

Do Not Travel Alone

Traveling with a hiking partner will help you in many ways, especially if your partner is an experienced hiker. People in pairs are much less likely to panic and can assist one another up steep grades and apply first-aid when needed. Your partner can travel back to the trail head if you’re injured. And, if needed, body heat can be much better conserved when there are two traveling together.

Leave Things as You Found Them

Disturbing rocks can accelerate erosion and cause a landslide. Trash along the trails can attract wildlife and make the trail unsafe and/or unsanitary for those who come after you.

Leash and Clean Up After Your Pet

Officially, Maxwell Falls is NOT a leash-free area. In addition to an unleashed dog being a Class II petty offense, uncontrolled pets can cause significant damage and disrupt the natural flow of wildlife. the National park service has a number of tips and potential hazards for your pooch.

Additionally, there is NO trash service at Maxwell Falls so it is mandatory that you pick up after your pet and then take the bag with you! Failure to do so can result in a significant fine.

(To report issues, or if your dog is lost, check with Jefferson County Animal Control)

Use Common Sense and Have Fun

Don’t fall victim to the temptation that you are invincible, use your head, and you will have a great and SAFE outing at Maxwell Falls.

In the event of an Emergency call 911.