PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. — Emergency crews responded to Lost Dutchman State Park to help 44 hikers out of the wilderness area Thursday night.
First responders said several of the hikers were overcome with heat. Two of the hikers were taken out by a ranger helicopter.
Lost Dutchman State Park manager Amy Schnoes said the out-of-state hikers had been warned that it was just too late to start a hike more than 5 miles long.
"Right about then it was about 111/112 degrees. The gentleman that actually checked in the group at the office did not disseminate the information to the folks in his group," Schnoes said.
She said the hikers were also told that the Flat Iron is the hardest hike in the Valley.
Schnoes assisted the Superstition Fire and Medical Department, Pinal County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Public Safety as they responded to where the hikers were stranded where Siphon Draw Trail meets Flat Iron Trail.
"They had a variety of calls at that time from heat-related to injuries. At the time it really wasn't clear how many or how severe," Schnoes said.
In the end, only one hiker was taken to a local hospital, officials said.
Park rangers, of course, caution everyone to know their limits, take more than enough water and hike early enough to avoid the heat in the middle of the day.