Add a raincoat to your hiking pack, because monsoon season officially kicks off today, June 15th. And, this year, the National Weather Service is predicting Phoenix will have above average rainfall.
Phoenix Monsoon Season: June 15th – Sept. 30th
The Phoenix monsoon season is officially set from June 15th until September 30th. Although, as always, it’s up to Mother Nature to determine when she decides to make her presence known.
For hikers and photographers, the monsoon brings a bit of relief from the hot dry heat, amazing sunset views and flashing lightening shows. It is a time where true adventure can be found on any Phoenix hiking trail.
Oh! And, did I mention the waterfalls?
Waterfalls after Monsoon Storms
The monsoon season brings heavy rains and floods. Which also translates into numerous waterfalls along the Phoenix hiking trails. It’s typically best to decide to hike after the storm is over and hike somewhere close, before the water all evaporates.
Any trail that has a canyon has a chance of having waterfalls.
Hikes with Waterfalls
Massacre Grounds – Superstition Mountain
Holbert Trail – South Mountain
Hieroglyphic Trail – Superstition Mountain
Dangers of Monsoon Season
Although the Phoenix monsoon season is an exciting time, it also is a dangerous time.
Check the weather before planning on hiking. Monsoon storms can quickly appear seemingly out of nowhere. If you see lighting or gray skies forming, it’s best to find a safe place or head down the mountain.
It’s also important, (especially for your backpackers) to stay away from big canyons, where flash floods can occur. If you are in a place where flash floods are occurring, do your best to get to higher ground.
Road Safety During Phoenix Monsoon Season
If driving and you come across a flooded area, the best thing to do is to turn around.
Do Not Attempt to Drive Through a Flooded Section of Road
While, it may appear shallow the currents in these flooded area can easily take your car away. If you are in a car while the water is rising, get out and seek higher ground.
What To Do If Hiking in a Dust Storm?
If you are caught in a dust storm while hiking, seek shelter. A big boulder or area where you can protect your body will work. If there is no area, stay put in one place and do not move.
If possible, try to cover your face and eyes while the dust is flying around.
What To Do if Driving Through a Dust Storm?
According to the Arizona Emergency Information Network, pull off the road in a safe area and put the car in park.
Turn off your lights (headlights and brake lights) and remain buckled up in your car until the storm passes
Enjoy the Show
Now, that you know how to stay safe during a monsoon storm, enjoy the epic show that Mother Nature is displaying.
This a great time to witness the Phoenix desert truly come alive.