Horse Thief Canyon Search

October 24-25, 2010
Santa Rosa Wilderness

Written by Matt Jordon

On the evening of Sunday October 24 at 7 p.m. RMRU was notified that three lost hikers were stranded in the Horse Thief Canyon area of the Santa Rosa Wilderness. One male and two females- all in their mid twenties - became disoriented whilst on an ambitious 15-mile uphill day hike from the La Quinta Cove to their parked car staged at Sugarloaf Cafe south of Carrizo.

Initial rough location of subjects was determined by cell tower triangulation and GPS navigation. As our three deployed RMRU members approached the targeted subject area, line of sight, radio, and verbal communication became limited due to high wind conditions and steep, loose terrain. Ultimately the subjects were safely found atop a hill isolated from Highway 74 by a deep canyon. After some no-nonsense down climbing and cactus dodging, all three thankful subjects were returned safe to their vehicle at the Sugarloaf Cafe at approximately 2 a.m.

RMRU members present: Mike Herman, Matt Jordon, Nick Nixon, and Les Walker.

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