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Saugus Woman Found Dead On Camelback Mountain In Arizona

SAUGUS (CBS) - A woman from Saugus has been found dead off a hiking trail in Arizona.

The conditions on that mountain trail are said to be tough, even for experienced hikers. Authorities in Phoenix have not yet confirmed the victim's name, but WBZ-TV has been told she is in her 30's.

Searchers say it was her first visit to Phoenix, and she was hiking the unforgiving Camelback Mountain in the July heat.

"Just another reminder of just how unrelenting and unforgiving the elements of the Sonoran Desert can be," said Captain Rob McDade of the Phoenix, Arizona Fire Department.

But, she was initially not alone. She began the hike Friday morning with her boyfriend, fire officials said, but decided halfway up Echo Canyon Trail that it was simply too hot.

"It's a dangerous mountain. If you were to look at it like a ski mountain, this is a double diamond, and it says it on the trail," said McDade. "It's an expert-level hike, especially with the conditions.

But the boyfriend wanted to continue to the top. So the couple decided to split up with the woman descending the trail back to the parking lot where both would meet later.

When he arrived there in the early afternoon, and she was nowhere to be found, rescuers were summoned to search the area.

They found her body four hours later by this home near the base of Camelback Mountain, where fire officials believe she collapsed seeking help.

Neighbors say this hike is not for amateurs.

"We just think it's very dangerous," said neighbor Deepal Takhar. "It's not worth the risk, there are so many other things we can do for physical activity."

Authorities say one lesson here is to always hike with a companion, so someone is there to watch your back, if you fall or struggle with the heat.

"Hiking alone is a dangerous thing," said McDade. "So if you start as a group, you should end as a group."

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