Treasure-hunting hiker found safe -- again

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. -- The woman who got lost earlier this week while searching for gold in the Superstition Mountains has been found safe.

Robin Byrd went out Tuesday to look for the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine, but did not return to meet her friends when expected. Those friends reported her missing Tuesday night.

Pinal County search and rescue crews spent Wednesday looking for her. They found her along the Bluff Springs Trail deep within the Superstition Mountains shortly before midnight. She had been out in the elements during a winter storm that battered the state and dropped snow levels so much that snow and graupel, commonly called soft hail, fell on the Valley.

Like other portions of the East Valley, the Superstition Mountains also got a blanket of snow.

Byrd was flown down to a waiting ambulance and taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

This is the second time in less than three months that search and rescue crews have had to go looking for Byrd.

On Dec. 10, she got lost while searching for gold. She was missing for about 24 hours before search-and-rescue crews found her.

"The around the clock work of Search and Rescue Team members is undoubtedly what saved the life of Robin Byrd once again," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a news release. "Hopefully she has learned a lesson this time and won't be returning to hike alone in the Superstition Mountains."

The search for the fabled Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine, considered by many to be the most famous lost mine in American history, has claimed the lives of several hikers over the years.

In November, hikers stumbled upon human remains in the Superstition Mountains near where a Colorado man vanished while searching for the mine in 2009. Joseph Capen's gear and wallet were found less than a mile away in December 2009, but there the 34-year-old treasure hunter was nowhere to be found.

In July 2010, three Utah men disappeared while searching for the mine. Unlike the winter conditions Byrd faced Wednesday, those men were out in triple-digit heat.

The Superstition Mountains are east of Phoenix, near Apache Junction.