Lost hikers rescued after spending frigid night on Mt. Baldy

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Three hikers were forced to hunker down and spend the night in frigid temperatures and severe weather after getting lost on a Mount Baldy hiking trail Sunday, officials announced Tuesday.

Members of the San Dimas and Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Teams navigated a 4,000-foot gain in elevation over a four-mile hike in rain and snow to locate the hikers, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.  

The hikers, all of whom LASD said are experienced mountaineers, got lost on Mt. Baldy’s Bear Canyon Trail after running out of daylight and being unable to locate the trail at 8,200 feet.  

Fortunately, the group had left their itinerary with relatives who notified authorities, the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team said in a post on social media.  

“Because the hikers were equipped with a tent and sleeping bags, they were instructed to shelter in place overnight until SAR personnel could meet them and hike out with them,” authorities added.  

On Feb. 5, at around 1 p.m., the trio was located between two rocks they used to shelter themselves against overnight winds of 50 miles per hour at an elevation of 8,400 feet.  

“The hikers were assessed and determined able to be escorted back down the trail through the snow and wet elements to safety,” authorities said.  

A second crew rendezvoused with the hikers and their rescuers with hot chocolate, tea and sandwiches at Bear Flats.  

After returning safely to the operation command post, all three of the hikers and search and rescue teams were evaluated by emergency medical personnel and cleared.  

“By 5 p.m., all teams were off the mountain,” officials said.  

Officials with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department are still searching for a 22-year-old El Monte woman who has been reported missing after going on a solo hike on Mt. Baldy on Feb. 4.  

Located in the San Gabriel Mountains, Mount Baldy presents acute dangers to hikers during the wintertime. In 2023, several hikers were found dead, including British actor Julian Sands, 65, after heading out for a hike in the area. 

“Many hikers, experienced or novice, underestimate the steep terrain, unpredictable weather, and high winds that present themselves in our mountain areas,” officials warn. “Exposure to the elements and falls contribute to Mt. Baldy’s growing mortality rate and the risk of avalanches prolongs rescue efforts.” 

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.