Hell’S Gate Hikers Run Out Of Water, Rescue Needed


For the eighth time this year, Tonto Rim Search and Rescue volunteers rescued hikers on the Hell’s Gate Trail after they ran out of water.

This time on Sunday, a 19- and 20-year-old man headed down the steep, rugged 16-mile round-trip trail with plenty of water. They managed to make it down the trail to the creek, turnaround and hike out five-and-a-half miles before making a wrong turn, said TRSAR Commander Bill Pitterle.

Pitterle explained around two-and-a-half miles from the trailhead is an old corral. The pair stopped at the corral for a water break and then started heading west on an old Jeep trail.

Instead of hiking north up the trail, the disoriented pair made a loop back to the corrals.

“Being low on water and not sure where they made a mistake, they called for help and stayed put,” Pitterle said. “They made the right choice.”

Around noon, two groups of rescuers headed down a Jeep trail and found the men uninjured.

They gave the men water and drove them out of the canyon.

On July 14, three men in their early 20s were rescued after running out of water. On June 30, a similar incident occurred with four adults who became dehydrated and could not hike out on their own.


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