Calls for help from stranded and exhausted hikers occurred frequently this past weekend along the Skyline Trail that starts at the valley floor in Palm Springs and ends in Mt. San Jacinto State Park. And the California State Parks rescue team was busy with three separate rescues Saturday, May 3.
The first began about 10 a.m., when the State Park unit was notified that several hikers were having trouble on the Skyline Trail. The rescue team descended to the 5,600-foot elevation, where they encountered a group of six hikers — three males and three females. One of the hikers was suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration.
After distributing water, the rescue team escorted the hikers up to the tram. Once there, the team was notified of another group of struggling hikers.
The second group was composed of three males from Maine and Georgia. They also had no water and were suffering from dehydration.
The team hiked back down the trail to about the 5,300-foot elevation. Meeting this group, they gave them water and walked them also up to the tram.
Once again, the rescue team was notified of a hiker in trouble. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Cabazon Station had been notified of a lost hiker.
The hiker, who resides in San Diego, was identified as Louie Terrazas, a 31-year old male. He had become separated from his friend and later fell, spraining his ankle and hitting his head. Terrazas sent a text message to his wife who notified the Sheriff’s Department.
The State Parks rescue team was picked up off the Skyline Trail by the Sheriff’s Aviation unit, which located him about 3:15 p.m. The team was dropped near the lost hiker, who was on a steep ledge.
Once on scene, they found the hiker holding onto a rock and discovered that he had sustained a severely sprained ankle and a minor head injury. The team stabilized Terrazas and then assisted the sheriff’s aviation unit in lifting him off the mountain to a regional hospital for treatment of his injuries.