On Saturday, April 28, a hiker without gear or a sleeping bag required rescue near Wellman Divide and the Pacific Crest Trail in the Idyllwild area. He had apparently gotten off the trail. The hiker used his cell phone to contact 911. Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies responded about 6:15 p.m. and an aviation unit was dispatched.

According to Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit volunteer and Idyllwild resident Lee Arnson, the aviation unit quickly spotted the hiker. He was then lifted into the helicopter and flown to safety. He was uninjured and required no medical attention.

Arnson said conditions on parts of the mountain remain difficult and could pose problems for hikers. He expects more rescues given the large number
of Pacific Crest Trail through-hikers that started the weekend of April 27 through 29. He heard some estimates about double the normal starting number.

The Sheriff’s Department advises any hiker to be properly outfitted and aware of weather and terrain conditions in the area of their planned hike.