San Diego, California - We’re right smack in the middle of the summer, and San Diego County offers plenty of reasons to be outside during this time. But the season’s high temperatures mean you need to take some important precautions, especially if you’re setting out to enjoy our mountains or other backcountry attractions.


The dangers became clear again Tuesday, when an 18-year-old hiker died from heat-related physical distress after she was airlifted out of an area on the Three Sisters Falls trails, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department reported. Rescues happen throughout the year, but most often during the summer months in popular hiking destinations, such as the Three Sisters Falls and Cedar Creek Falls trails.

It’s important to take careful steps when hiking in the heat to avoid getting lost, hurt, dehydrated, sick or worse.

Below are some safety tips from rescuers hikers should consider before they hit the trails:

  • Let someone know where you will be and when you plan to return
  • Hike with others, never alone; leave Fido at home for difficult hikes
  • Take plenty of water to stay hydrated – one bottle is not enough
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses
  • Take breaks in shade, if possible
  • Take a mobile phone, map and/or GPS
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, ventilated clothing
  • Bring along a warm jacket if you plan to stay out after dusk
  • Wear sturdy shoes with traction for slippery rocks
  • Follow all posted safety rules

For more information on hiking at Cedar Creek Falls, watch the San Diego Sheriff’s and U.S. Forest Service’s short video below from 2013 or this safety reminder.