One of the most beautiful places to visit if one would like to see beautiful sights are state parks within the Rocky Mountains. With an amazing array of flora, fauna, and scenic views, taking a tour of one or more national parks in the Rocky Mountains can be both enjoyable and educational. However, it is important to remember that safety precautions are necessary to research and understand before beginning a tour.
One of the most important things those undertaking such tours can do is to register with the local park service. Registration is generally free except for any fees one would need to pay to get access to the park. While it may seem unnecessary, if something would happen while one is out in the park, the best chance for aid is from the local park service. These men and women devote their lives to studying, working in, and getting to know the park, and they are the experts at staying safe. You can find more basic safety tips at Wikipedia’s travel page.
Looking for more in depth information about some specific safety hazards found in the Rocky Mountain area is also a good idea. The Rocky Mountain National Park Service site is a great place to locate lots of specific advice for park-goers.
Mountain weather and how to handle it is an important part of staying safe on a tour of the Rockies. Weather at high altitudes is different than what most people are used to. Severe weather can come on very suddenly at these altitudes, so it is important to be prepared for inclement conditions. Anyone undertaking such a hike should carry the following essentials: rain gear, a map and compass, a flashlight or headlamp, matches, candles, extra food, a pocket knife, sunscreen, a first aid kit, and extra clothing for colder temperatures. Lighting strikes are often common at these high altitudes. Find shelter in a treeline before a storm begins. If hikers cannot make it to a treeline, they are advised to stay away from isolated trees and rocks and to crouch down near the ground.
Elevation sickness is a well-known problem for those touring in the mountains. However, it is important not to overlook it, as it can be a serious issue. Due to being physically active, it is easy to become dehydrated while in the Rockies. Be sure to drink several quarts of water per day. Likewise, the high altitudes mean the use of sunblock is vital to avoid severe burns. Elevation sickness symptoms include headache, nausea, and dizziness. If hikers experience any of these symptoms, they should descent to lower altitudes immediately.
Another important safety consideration is wildlife. The Rockies are home to some amazing wildlife species, but the mountains are these animals’ homes, and respecting them is key to being safe. It is important to read a detailed guide about safety when camping in a national park. More detailed instructions can be found at the National Park Service site linked above, but here are some basics. If you meet a bear or mountain lion, never try to approach the animal. Especially, never try to retrieve any possession once a bear has it. Most bears and lions prefer to leave before they attack, so always give the animal a way out. Never run from a bear or lion, instead back up slowly and calmly. Likewise, it is a good idea to try to act big and loud to encourage these animals away from you. Yell, clap your hands, and stand up as tall as you can during your retreat. Report any incident or sighting to park rangers.
Many diseases are endemic to this area, so precautions should be taken. Never drink water from any natural source without boiling it for purification first. Likewise, drinking natural water should be your last resort; carry bottled water instead. Never approach live or dead animals. These animals can be carriers of serious disease such as plague. Likewise, inspect yourself for ticks after your hike, as they can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and other illnesses. Also, seek medical attention right away if you feel ill.
Following these tips and doing further research can help ensure a Rocky Mountain tour can be everything it should be: safe, educational, and enjoyable.