This area is prone to flash floods during summer thunderstorms. If any storm is threatening, it is best to avoid low lyins areas such as these basins and to as a flash flood can begin without warning. To give you an idea of what you're dealing with, these floods have enough force to carry away an SUV. Its also advisable to avoid driving on dirt roads after periods of rain or snow as the road may be impassible.
Summer days can reach 100 degrees. In these temperatures be sure to always carry water even for the shortest hike. Water is available at the pump located in the visitor center parking lot, and at the spigots in front of each restroom in the Fruita campground. You should plan on at least one gallon of water per person per day. Be aware that water is very difficult to find in the backcountry, so plan to carry in all your water. If you do find water in the backcountry it must be boiled or filtered before drinking to kill Giardia.
Please stay on established trails, and do not shortcut switchbacks. Walking off trail can damage the fragile desert environment and its cryptobiotic crust. If you have a permit to hike off trail be sure to walk in wash bottoms, on slickrock, or use animal trails to avoid stepping in cryptobiotic crust. Find out what this crust looks like at the visitor center so that you will recognize it when you see it. When climbing on loose talus or steep slickrock remember that it is always harder to climb down than to climb up. You should tell others about your plans and expected return date, so that if there is a problem they can alert park officials with the necessary information needed to locate you.
Mule deer and free-range livestock are common on or near the roads - especially in the park and along sections of Hwy 12. Day or night, keep your speed down and eyes open!
There are open fence area all around here. So be aware of the deer and cattle that may stroll across the highway.
For your own and other’s safety, stay on established trails; do not shortcut switchbacks or throw rocks. Hiking routes shown on this map are for location reference only.