Sunday, May 20 , 2018, 8:56 pm | Fair 62º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Rescuers Spot Missing Backpacker on Santa Cruz Trail

Man alerts officials after hiking partner fails to show up at pre-determined location

A missing backpacker was found safe Monday evening after Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue crews located him on the Santa Cruz Trail north of Upper Oso in the San Rafael Wilderness area of the Los Padres National Forest.

Sheriff’s Department spokesman Drew Sugars said two Santa Barbara area men in their 60s were on a five-day backpacking outing when they became separated on the Santa Cruz Trail. One of the backpackers waited for his partner at their pre-determined location — at their vehicle parked at the Upper Oso Campground.

When the man failed to show, Sugars said, the backpacker alerted authorities at the U.S. Forest Service’s Paradise station.

Sugars said members of the Search & Rescue team along with the Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit initiated a ground and air search around 5:30 p.m. Monday. A helicopter from the Aviation Unit spotted the missing hiker about 6:30 p.m. south of Little Pine Mountain, making his way down the trail toward the Upper Oso Campground.

Rescuers on the ground hiked up to the backpacker, gave him water and escorted him to Upper Oso.

According to Sugars, the backpacker told rescuers he had taken a wrong turn near the end of a section of the Santa Cruz Trail typically referred to as the “40-mile stretch” and became entangled in heavy brush.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >