Wrong turn leads to hiker rescue on Mt. San Jacinto

Hikers take a wrong turn, end up 9000' in elevation

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- - Two hikers that took a wrong turn down Mt. San Jacinto Peak Thursday were rescued by helicopter, according to Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department would like to remind hiking enthusiasts to carry proper equipment for any outdoor excursion.

Proper preparedness includes a well thought-out travel plan shared with friends and family, as well as familiarity with common hiking equipment, such as GPS, maps and compasses, proper clothing and plenty of water.

Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit offers several helpful, lifesaving tips at their website.

The hikers, 23-year-old Ali Esparza from Jamul and 25-year-old Phuong Nguyen from San Diego, were heading down the trail to their car when they ended up on the Pacific Crest Trail. They were between Little Round Valley Camp and Black Mountain Group Camp, about 9000' in elevation.

Jamul and Nguyen called the Palm Springs Tram for help at 8:48 p.m., about ten hours after they began hiking. Riverside County Sheriff's Aviation helicopter, along with Riverside County Mountain Rescue, found the hikers at 10:40 p.m. The Sheriff's Department says due to the darkness and the terrain, a helicopter airlifted the hikers to a safe place.

The hikers were found in good health.

This marks at least ten hiker rescues from the Mount San Jacinto Trails since May.

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