As sure as there is weekend traffic during the summer, there are rescues at Fossil Creek.
For the third time in June, a hiker was rescued off the trail, this time for dehydration and exhaustion.
In the other missions, a 13-year-old boy hit his head while swimming in the creek with family, and a woman collapsed two miles down the steep, exposed trail from severe dehydration.
On Wednesday, June 30, a 13-year-old girl from Mesa and three other juvenile friends arrived at the trailhead, inadequately prepared to hike the trail, which drops more than 1,200 feet in 3.1 miles, said Gila County Sheriff’s Deputy Rodney Cronk.
Cronk said the group had some water, but not enough for everyone, and the girl was unfit.
A quarter of the way down the trail, the girl stopped and could go no further. One of her friends hiked to an area with cell phone service and called for help.
The Pine-Strawberry Fire Department, Tonto Rim Search and Rescue and sheriff’s office hiked down to the girl and collectively carried her out using a wheeled basket.
Once at the trailhead, the girl’s mother was called and the girl was released.
The Tonto National Forest recommends hikers carry one gallon of water per person, per day during the summer months.