A 65-year-old woman who wandered into a ravine and became lost while hiking with a group in Mount San Jacinto State Park was back home safe today.
The hiker was on a nature trek along the Marion Mountain Trail leading to Idyllwild on Monday when she apparently strayed from the beaten path and went down an escarpment, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
The woman, described as a seasoned hiker with more than 10 years experience, became disoriented and unable to find her way out. She was reported missing the following day, and the Riverside County Mountain Rescue Unit was immediately activated.
Though it was confirmed the hiker had a few provisions with her, emergency personnel worried about her health given an undisclosed pre-existing condition, according to sheriff’s Deputy Walter Kurtz.
He said that along with the mountain rescue team, the sheriff’s aviation unit and area rangers were called in to assist in a “comprehensive search of the vast area.”
By 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the woman was located in a ravine about a half-mile off the marked trail, “uninjured and in good spirits,” Kurtz said.
She was escorted out of the wilderness and reunited with her friends.
Kurtz said the incident highlights the importance of preparedness, including realizing one’s personal limitations, having knowledge of the terrain and carrying adequate supplies of food and water, even for short hikes.