Search and Rescue Missions With Happy Endings
 A forum on

Are you prepared to hike the desert trails?

Originally posted on the DesertUSA Forums by sardude on Aug. 02, 2011.

With the summer temps upon us, Pinal County SAR has been reasonably quiet. We have had some days with the heat index approaching 120 degrees.
Sunday June 26, callout 2030. 28 year old male visiting from WA. Left Peralta at 1100 intending to do 104 to Bluff Springs Loop (counter clockwise) He had six, 16 oz bottles of water. Wife called him in as overdue around 2000.8 of us showed up at TH as Ranger was doing it’s first search. Hiker spotted North of Weavers Needle on Terrapin. Ranger flew him back to TH since he was out of water and cramping.

It sounds like as he approached the Terrapin junction off of Bluff Springs, he was walking in the wash and didn’t see the sign since it was dark and the sign is up on the trail. He saw the trail down by the wash going up so thought he was still on Bluff Springs and didn’t realize he was on Terrapin.

When Ranger got to him, he’d already been out of water for several hours. He has no clue how close to death he came. Temperatures were still in the 100’s after dark.

Saturday July 10. Search started 1900 hrs in Maricopa vicinity. Searching for clues to a possible crime scene. No other info can be offered. Very large dust storm, then lightning and rain. Around 2330 we received a call about a lost hiker on Picketpost Mt., around 70 miles in the opposite direction. En route, teams were hit with a torrential monsoon storm.
53 yr. old male left TH at 0500 to hike to the top of Picketpost. He encountered issues that made a longer than expected hike. He ran out of water but the torrential rain helped as he captured water in his Nalgene bottles. He was semi prepared as he had a light, whistle, hiking poles, and good hiking boots. The teams ran into him about 30 minutes from the TH. He was cold, wet, and happy to be getting back to the TH. Teams out of field 0400.

July 23, callout 1620, temps approaching 110. Hiker 911 from Robber’s Roost/West Boulder area. Out of water and in distress. MCSO helo extracted subject and delivered them to TH. Teams in route called back. Thank God, hiking up Carney in 110 degrees is not my cup of tea. Thanks to MCSO helo.

Mostly, people hiking in the summer in the Supes are prepared. The logic is somewhat scewed, but whom am I to talk logic. Time of day and lots of water and knowledge will lead to a “fun” hike and not having to put my SAR brother and sisters in harms way. If you have to think twice before you do it, Don’t do it.
later, SARDUDE

To read more stories about search and rescue mission in the desert, please visit our DesertUSA Forums.

Previous articleA 350-foot serpent rises from the sand in Borrego Springs, CA
Next articleAZ – Oversized load to creep across state.
Lynn Bremner is the author of, a blog about desert road trips and tips. She started the blog after moving to Indio, CA where she now resides. Now a true desert dweller, Lynn has added in some of her own views on desert living. The heat does not keep her indoors in the summertime. She is out running, golfing or taking short day trips to some of the local points of interest. After years of traveling along the dusty, desert trails with her father, she has come to appreciate the beauty and solitude of the desert landscape. Her father’s passion for prospecting, desert lore and exploring the desert parks took their family to many interesting places, mostly in California, Nevada and Arizona. Lynn now writes about her desert road trips and intertwines a little bit of desert living into the mix.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here