Hiking near Phoenix Can have Bad Consequences

Some of pour readers hail from the Greater Phoenix area. While it’s dang hot in summer (already in the 90’s), the winter and spring are great times for hiking to get in shape for Half Dome. Pinal County has 382,000 residents and it encompasses over 5,000 sq miles. The Sheriff’s Office there handles many SAR missions in the Superstition wilderness. Our YOSAR (Yosemite Search and Rescue) handles over 200 calls a year, but in the last 2 weeks, Pinal Sheriffs conducted 15 separate search and rescues. They already have set a record  for the year for the number of lost hikers.

Sonoran Cactus in Pinol County, AZ

Check these out

  • March 15 – An SAR team hiked seven hours to rescue two hikers from the area of Haunted Canyon after the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Ranger helicopter located them in steep terrain in the darkness, making a nighttime rescue impossible. An SAR deputy and two SAR Posse members waited with the lost hikers until the Ranger helicopter returned the next morning and brought them out.
  • March 16 – SAR team found two hikers who had become separated from their group on Picket Post Mountain near Superior. Neither was hurt.
  • March 17 – A man fell and hit his head at the waterfall near the Hieroglyphics Trail in the Superstitions. The SAR team used a Stokes basket to carry the man out a canyon area for medical attention.
  • March 23 – A woman broke her ankle on Picacho Peak and airlifted off the mountain.
  • March 23 – The SAR team was called out to the Arizona Trail near Oracle. A 60-year-old woman hiking with a large group was overcome by the hike and needed assistance off the mountain. While SAR deputies were helping the woman descend the trail, four other members of her hiking party were reported missing. Two of those missing hikers were able to make it out of the area on their own, but SAR deputies had to locate the other two hikers and assist them off the mountain.
  • March 23 – The SAR team returned to the Picacho Peak area after a mother and her 4-year-old daughter called for help after becoming stranded on a cliff as the sun started to set. With the assistance of the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Ranger helicopter, SAR deputies located the pair and were able to hike up the mountain and safely navigate the child and her mother down.
  • March 24 – Two women went off trail above the waterfall near the Hieroglyphics Trail and needed assistance finding their way out of the park. They were not prepared for an overnight stay.
  • March 24 – A woman riding a quad near Box Canyon had to be cut from her vehicle and was flown to a hospital by air ambulance for multiple injuries.
  • March 25 – A 65-year-old woman lost consciousness on Picacho Peak after suffering from heat exposure and dehydration. SAR deputies hiked the mountain and helped her off the mountain.
  • March 27 – The SAR team found and helped a 24-year-old man back to his car after his wife called and said he was overdue from a hike in the Superstition Mountains.
  • March 29 – PCSO received a call of a missing member from an off-road party. The group was four-wheeling in the Mammoth area. On a climb, a driver at the back of the pack disappeared. SAR deputies found a Jeep that appeared to have rolled off a cliff. The driver was dead.
  • March 29 – A juvenile went for a walk in the desert near Mammoth and got lost. The teen stayed on the phone with dispatchers as SAR deputies responded. The teen was able to find his way to a roadway with the dispatcher’s help and was driven home by deputies.
  • March 30 – SAR deputies and posse members escorted three adults hiking in the Lost Dutchman State Park to safety.
  • March 31 – SAR deputies returned to Lost Dutchman State Park to rescue a woman who fractured her ankle.


Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Lost in space, Lost in time … and Meaning.” – Rocky Horror Picture Show

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome



About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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7 Responses to Hiking near Phoenix Can have Bad Consequences

  1. When I hiked the Valley of Fire in Nevada it was 105. Crazy hot for this Pacific NW guy.

    That’s an awful lot of SAR calls. The thing is, in most cases, it’s such simple little things people can do to avoid all the drama.

  2. Sönke says:

    The only thing I’m concerned at any Arizona NP/SP near the border are drug traffickers and other criminals.

    I stopped going there 10+ years ago. Very sad what’s going on there.

  3. Kathy says:

    I love the Sequaro National Park (actually closer to Tucson than Phoenix – but the same principals apply. Hiking in the Desert is a totally different experience than hiking in Yosemite. Desert has the heat during most months, but can also be very cold at night, even some summer months. Winter can even get snow on occasions. There is also the issues of flash floods. Maureen’s comments are great! re: food and drink. Also remember the air is dry so the moisture is needed! It is also helpful to hike earlier a.m. in the desert before the heat. Finally, the plants and creatures do not say “hug me”, so it is good to know about them as well. There are several good books on hiking in the desert, so consider getting a copy of one. Much like Half Dome – being prepared is the way to go…

    • I drove through there last year. The Saguaros are neat. We also saw the Biosphere II and the Titan missile complex. -Deactivated and you can take tours. Went through old Tombstone. Nice trip. All that after seeing a Spring Training baseball game. Carpe Diem

  4. Maureen L says:

    Electrolyte imbalance causes stupidity, among other things.

    I highly recommend electrolyte tablets (I’m fond of the Nuun All Day because they are high in potassium and lower sodium) or powder.

    They’ve changed the info signs at the Grand Canyon to say something like 1. eat salty snack and carbs, and 2. drink lots of water. They had folks getting hyponatremia because they were drinking but not eating.

    At least some of these folks had told others their plans!

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