PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Hiking can be dangerous, especially if you're not from the valley. Sadly there have been a number of deaths on the trails and countless injuries.
Now a local hotel employee is being recognized for making sure guests are well-prepared before they head out for a hike.
Brian grew up on the east coast, so he understands firsthand what it's like to come here from out-of-town, ready to hike, without really appreciating how brutal the heat can be. He combines his extensive knowledge of trails with some "tough love" to ensure every hiker has a safe and pleasant experience.
Brian Madden is an expert at matching out of towners with the perfect trail. He's a Concierge at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge and is well versed in teaching visitors the realities of hiking in our heat.
"You'd be surprised starting at 9 a.m. that some people feel that's early in the morning, but when you're going on a two-hour hike, by 11 a.m. it is quite hot out there," said Brian Madden.
Some guests come to Brian looking to kill a couple hours; they throw out hiking Camelback, and he doles out a gentle reality check.
"First you have to take a step back whats your experience with hiking so far do you hike regularly and if they say I've never hiked before in my life then maybe we take it down and start with Pinnacle Peak," said Madden.
Brian says many visitors are fascinated by our monsoon; familiar with flooding risks from their own state. So he drives home preparing for the heat, making sure all guest hit the trail early in the morning and with plenty of water.
"I don't mean to scare people off and discourage them from exploring the outdoors because it really is a wonderful experience to be outside in the Sonoran Desert," he said.
Brian says if a guest comes to him mid-day saying it's his only day to hike while visiting, he's direct and says they should save the hike for another trip.