Missing Hiker Found After 10 Days Lost in Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Photo via SVL Steve

A California man spent ten days stranded in the Santa Cruz Mountains after getting lost during what he anticipated would be a three-hour hike.

Lukas McClish, 34, embarked on his hike on June 11, but became disoriented, partially due to the destruction of local landmarks by recent wildfires. His family reported him missing when he failed to show up for a Father’s Day dinner on June 16, prompting search and rescue operations.

According to CNN affiliate KABC, the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office used a drone to locate McClish on Thursday in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California’s oldest state park known for its ancient coast redwood trees.

“There were multiple reports of witnesses hearing someone yelling for help, but the location of that person was hard to establish,” Cal Fire reported. Despite this, the search teams persevered and ultimately found McClish with no major injuries. He was reunited with his family shortly after.

Speaking with KABC, McClish described his condition after the ordeal as “tired and a little sore,” and mentioned that he had lost his voice. He had left for the hike with minimal gear: “I left with just a pair of pants, and my pair of hiking shoes, and a hat,” he said. “I had a flashlight, and a pair of folding scissors, like a Leatherman tool. And that was about it.”

To survive, McClish relied heavily on drinking water from creeks and waterfalls he encountered. “I just made sure I drank a gallon of water every day,” he told KSBW. As the days passed, he struggled with the lack of food. “My body needed food and some kind of sustenance,” he added.

Reflecting on the experience, McClish expressed deep gratitude for the efforts of the search and rescue workers.

“Seeing the number of search and rescue workers who worked to find me was really humbling,” he said. “It was an awesome experience.”

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California
Back to top button