Now that it's fall, Arizona hikers are less concerned about the heat as they make their way up Valley mountains. But fire and rescue officials say people still need to carry water and take precautions because it's still hot.
"We were fooled into believing the heat was over with the beautiful temperatures early last week," said Lori Schmidt, a public education officer with the Scottsdale Fire Department.
On Sunday, a 60-year-old man visiting from out of state experienced dizziness while hiking at Pinnacle Peak Park and needed the help of the Scottsdale department to get back down the mountain, Schmidt said. He refused transportation to the hospital.
Since Jan. 1, Scottsdale fire crews have responded to 15 emergency medical service calls in Scottsdale's mountain parks, said Tiffani Nichols, department spokeswoman.
There have been three rescues since Sept. 27, two at Pinnacle Peak, she said.
The Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club also urges hikers to carry adequate amounts of water to avoid dehydration or heat exhaustion. The club suggests each hiker carry at least 1 gallon of water as well as a high-energy snack.
Arizonaguide.com, a Web site aimed at visitors, says keeping cool and hiking in Arizona takes a lot of energy.
Food is most important while hiking in a desert climate, the site says.
"Proper walking shoes, sun protection in the form of sunscreen, hats and clothing, and lots and lots of water are important precautions when enjoying our recreational opportunities," Schmidt said.
People should be mindful of the time of day and expected temperatures before heading out she added.
Nichols said, "It is recommended that hikers not only take enough water, but also carry a cell phone and stay on marked trails."