Lost Day Hikers

January 26, 2018
Saunders Meadow, Idyllwild

Written by Tyler Shumway

I received a call out for two lost hikers at 7:45pm on Friday. Coordinates were given by the Sheriff department as two officers were already on scene. We were to meet on Forest Service Road 5S21 which is May Valley Road. just off Saunders Meadow. The coordinates we received put the Sheriffs about 1.5 miles down the service road where it intersects with the South Ridge Trail. This portion of trail is a single track used frequently by mountain bikers.

Michael and I arrived on scene to find two sheriff vehicles unattended as well as the subject’s cousin who was there voluntarily as he had received a phone call from them stating they were lost. Luckily, we had service within the area and were able to obtain the Sheriffs cellular number to make contact. The Sergeant and Deputy were able to locate the two subjects roughly 1 mile up the trail and stated they were on the way back down.

Michael and I geared up and started heading up the trail to meet them on their descent. Half a mile in we found the Sergeant, but he was neither with the Deputy nor the two subjects. He stated that they had split up due to rough terrain and the Deputy and subjects were down in a deep ravine in dense brush. I called the Deputy on his cell and confirmed that he was with the two subjects and that he was off trail and was unsure of where he was. Using his radio, he was able to provide us with a coordinate which put him half a mile and 500 vertical feet further up the mountain in heavy brush.

They were however, very close to the yellow post camp sites on South Ridge so I instructed him to continue uphill until reaching flatter terrain and to stay put. Michael and I drove back to Saunders Meadow and up Forest Service Road 5S11 which meets up with the South Ridge Trailhead and the yellow post sites. Just as we were driving up to the camp sites we spotted the Deputy and the two subjects. No one was hurt, we gave them food, water and warm clothing. I then drove them back to where the Sheriff’s vehicles. Mission was over at 11:30pm.

RMRU Members Involved: Corey Ellison, Michael George, Tony Hughes, Alex Rilloraza, and Tyler Shumway.