California State Parks with the assistance of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Volunteer Mountain Rescue Unit, rescued a lost hiker just before midnight late Sunday (12/29/13). The 60 year old male resident of Oceanside, CA was found unharmed at approximately 2351 hours, about 1.5 miles into the wilderness and a few hundred feet off of the Round Valley Trail, which is used to get to the Peak of Mt. San Jacinto (10,834 feet).
CA State Parks Dispatch received a call of the missing hiker about 1928 hours who was reported missing by family members. Shortly after a CA State Parks Search team was assembled (1 State Park Peace Officer and 1 Park Aide) and enroot to the Tramway were they met with Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit (7 volunteers) and ascended to the State Park to begin the search. The wife of the subject informed a member of the CA State Park Rescue Team that her husband was going to hike to the top of Mt. San Jacinto Peak approximately 12 miles round trip from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway’s mountain station (8,516 feet). Once the hiker was found he informed rescue personnel that he made it to the peak, on his way back it started to get dark and without an adequate light source he unknowingly went off trail. Later the missing hiker realized he was off the trail, unable to find the trail again he decided to stay where he was at and started a fire to keep warm.
Once found the hiker was brought back to the Long Valley Ranger Station at 0128 hours (12/30/13) where he ate and went to sleep while he and the rescue personnel waited for the Tramway to open so they could take the first tram car (About 6:30 AM) to the Valley Station in Palm Springs, were the subject’s vehicle was parked.
California State Parks would like to thank the Riverside sheriff’s Department and the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway for their assistance.