Lost Hiker Skyline Trail

February 10, 2020
Near Upper Palm Springs Tramway

Written by Cameron Dickinson

Our team was dispatched at 3:00pm on a Monday afternoon in response to a hiker who was lost from the Skyline Trail. A male hiker in his early 20’s made the trip out from Canada with a family member to spend some time in Palm Springs for vacation. After spending a few days in town, he decided to do an early AM solo hike starting from the Skyline Trailhead in Palm Springs and finishing at the Upper Aerial Tramway.

The following day, as well as the morning of his hike, 5-6” of snow had fallen on the mountain. Our hiker, who was well prepared for the very difficult hike and the colder weather, had proceeded up the trail. Once he made it above the snowline, he found himself off-trail, which made route finding more difficult with the fresh snowfall covering the existing tracks. He did carry a GPS unit with him, but was having some operational issues with it. At this point he was able to make call to another family member, and expressed that he was lost. That same family member made a call our Sheriff’s Office, and was able to provide his GPS coordinates of his location on the mountain. Those coordinates would be relayed to our team.

Our first team out in the field consisted Blake, James, myself, followed later by our second team which included Vinay and Beth. Eric would manage base, and all team/Sheriff’s communications. We were able to make a relatively quick hike from the upper Tram and down Skyline Trail to locate hiker. He wasn’t far off the trail and was found on a steep chute just adjacent to the trail.

Cameron Standing with Subject Sitting
Image by Blake Douglas

Our hiker was healthy and good spirits. After gathering some is belongings, we were able to hike back up the trail where and soon be joined our second team. Our hiker was able to finish his intended hike, with a little guidance by our team.

Vinay, James, Eric, Subject, Cameron, Blake, Beth
Image by Tramway Personal

RMRU Members Involved: Vinay Rao, Blake Douglas, Beth Jeffery, Eric Holden, James Eckhardt, Cameron Dickinson