Hiker Rescued By Helicopter After Spending Night on Mount Lemmon

by Jennifer Shea

A 36-year-old male hiker struggled with the heat on Mount Lemmon’s Wilderness Rock Trail on Thursday. Then he had to be airlifted off the mountain outside Tucson, Arizona.

Volunteers from the Southern Arizona Rescue Association spent the night with the hiker, KOLD News 13 reported. 

Hiker Rescued in the Early Morning

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Unit said that rangers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety ultimately rescued the hiker. The department shared that news in statements posted to its Twitter account.

“A rescue is currently in progress on Mt. Lemmon,” the department tweeted at 2:02 a.m. on Thursday. It noted that “rescuers from SARA” had gone to spend the night with the hiker. They stayed with him until public safety officials could send a helicopter after daybreak.

The department followed up with another tweet just after 9 a.m. It shared that the Arizona Department of Public Safety rangers had successfully rescued the hiker. “Thanks to members of the Southern Arizona Rescue Association for spending the night on Mt. Lemmon,” the department tweeted.

Skiing and Sky Islands

Mt. Lemmon is an hour away from Tucson. It sits amid the Coronado National Forest. And it is actually the site of the southernmost ski area in the continental U.S. from December to April.

Moreover, the forest is home to the sky islands. Those are high-elevation peaks. They offer respite to humans, animals, and plants when desert temperatures climb into the hundreds over the summer. 

“The sky islands of the Coronado National Forest are healthy ecosystems with an abundant and diverse flora and fauna,” the Forest Service further explains on its website.

“They provide an array of high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities with an emphasis on enhancing visitor understanding and enjoyment of the Forest’s special natural and cultural resources.”

Also, Mt. Lemmon’s summit is 9,157 feet high. With its picturesque vistas, it’s a popular place to hike.