Planning on getting outdoors this weekend? Here are some tips to - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Planning on getting outdoors this weekend? Here are some tips to help you stay safe while enjoying the warm temperatures

Posted: Updated:
Yakima River (file photo) Yakima River (file photo)

Yakima, WA - With temperatures in the high 70's and 80's this weekend, it's the perfect time to head outdoors and explore the nature throughout the region. This time of year, might not be the best time to cool down by the river, or go too high up the mountain trails. In the Spring season, local mountains and rivers are still shedding it's Winter weather build-up and because of that people who plan on heading outdoors need to be careful.

With the weekend's high temperature forcast, heading out to the Yakima River and other local rivers might sound like a good idea, but Yakima County Search and Rescue Coordinator, Sgt. Randy Briscoe is warning of some potential dangers that can be experienced during this time of year.

"Be extremely cautious this weekend, the water levels are high because of snow runoff.  We are going to have debris in the water, and water clarity will be low you won't know where your wading in or what you might wade into, and of course the water temperatures will be extremely low," said Sgt. Briscoe.

For those people who want to get into the water despite the advice not to, Sgt. Briscoe advises to make sure you always let someone know where you are going, always wear a life jacket, and avoid drinking alcohol while in the river water, whether it be floating/tubing or swimming.  Always, be careful where you get in the water and where you are floating because there can be broken branches and eroded banks. 
These tips are for river visitors throughout Yakima, Kittitas, and Benton Counties.

As far as hiking goes, Sgt. Briscoe says to stay in lower mountain areas, because there might still be some snow in the higher elevation areas.  So if you go hiking stay in the lower mountain areas.

"We still got some snow up in the mountains, so if you get too far up you're liable to hit some snow, and possibly get stuck," said Sgt. Briscoe.

And always remember, to just be careful, and no matter what you are planning to do, always drink water and stay hydrated and enjoy the Summer-like heat during this Springtime.