Today is National Take a Hike Day! Living in Arizona, you don’t need a day to do this as we have trails everywhere. Though, my favorite mountain in the city is North Mountain. It’s about a mile and a half and relatively easy.
I love starting at the Nature Trail and hiking up the dirt side of the mountain. We then come down the paved side, you’ll see a lot more people going down this way.
One morning, I was hiking and I see something move down the side of the mountain. I immediately freeze. It’s a Gila Monster, they are immediately recognizable by their size and their coloring, black and bright orange.
I think they are beautiful animals. Slightly scary because they are known to be poisonous. This is why I stopped in my tracks and waited for it to crawl down off the mountain and continue on its way.
Though, I read an article that was talking about how many people had died from being bitten by Gila Monsters. None. There is one record in 1939 of someone dying, but it is controversial. Why? Because Gila Monsters are ridiculously shy and nocturnal. They are known to be divas when choosing whether to bite or not.
The Gila Monster’s reputation has put fear into people and made their numbers dwindle. They are now federally protected and it is illegal to capture or kill them. So be nice and leave them alone.
For more information about hiking trails in Arizona visit: arizonahiking.blogspot.com