San Diego

8 Hikers Rescued in Scorching Heat on Three Sisters Falls Trail Near Julian

In the past, some hikers have died while traversing the rugged trail in Julian on hot days

Eight hikers were rescued on Three Sisters Falls Trail near Julian amid a scorching weekend heat wave.

There were multiple hikers who needed emergency assistance due to heat-related concerns at the trail on Saturday, according to Cal Fire's twitter feed.

Paramedics transported two hikers via air ambulance and one hiker via ground ambulance to a nearby hospital, Cal Fire Spokesman Isaac Sanchez said. Five hikers were evaluated for dehydration symptoms and released at the scene, after paramedics determined they were okay.

A few months ago, San Diego County Sheriff's Search and Rescue (SDSO) warned hikers planning to hike Three Sisters Falls to be cautious and come prepared.

Hikers still have not gotten the message that the hike is considered strenuous and difficult, SDSO Search and Rescue Reserve Commander Frank Motley said.

Dozens of rescues of distressed hikers are carried out each year. In the past, some have died on the trail.

“The challenge with Three Sisters is that it’s easy to get down there,” Motley said. “But you forget you have the hard hike back up."

“Because you’re up in Julian, you think it’s going to be cool and nice, but it’s a high desert hike,” he said.

 The rugged and strenuous terrain offers a lot of direct sunlight and high heat, along with rattlesnakes. There are parts of the terrain where you're on all fours, Motley said.

Julie Wright, a San Diegan hiking the trail a few months ago, said she saw many people starting the trail with little to no water.

"If you go look at reviews, if you go to, for instance, which I did, I read a review, and it said, ‘This trail is a beast,'" she said.

Wright and Motley have similar key recommendations: bring plenty of water and wear proper footwear (no flip flops, Motley says). Motley recommends a liter of water per hour. 

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