Thru-Hikers Rescued From Mount San Jacinto

The Riverside County Sheriff reports in a press release that two Pacific Crest Trail thru-hikers became lost on the north side of Mount San Jacinto and were rescued by the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit and a Sheriff helicopter. The hikers did not require medical attention.

Press Release: Search and Rescue / Stranded Hikers
Agency: Cabazon Station
Station Area: Cabazon
Written Date: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 Time: 3:00 PM
Incident Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2011 Time: 6:30 PM
Incident Location: Mount San Jacinto Wilderness, Snowcreek Drainage
Reporting Officer: Sergeant Al Meservey
File Number(s): B111160013

On Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at about 6:30 PM, Cabazon Station deputies responded to the Snowcreek community west of Palm Springs regarding two hikers stranded in the Mount San Jacinto Wilderness area.

Two hikers, identified as 19-year-old Derek Calvano of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and 20-year-old Christopher Simmons of Greenfield, California, called 911 reporting they were without water and were disoriented.

The young men were traveling north along the Pacific Crest Trail, beginning in Tijuana, Mexico, with a goal of reaching the Canadian border. During the hike, the hikers encountered heavy vegetation where they became disoriented and wandered off the trail. The hikers found themselves at the base of the wilderness where they encountered rugged terrain and sheer drop-offs. The pair had limited provisions, but had run out of water. The hikers were able to call 911 by cellular phone and summoned help. One of the hikers fell down a 20 foot drop-off where he became stranded, but was uninjured.

The good weather conditions, coupled with the hiker’s limited provisions, allowed for Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit (RMRU) specialists and Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT) personnel to provide overnight instruction to the men with direction that they shelter in place.

On Wednesday, April 27, 2011, at about 8:00 AM, a Sheriff’s Department helicopter was mobilized with RMRU. After a quick search, the hikers were located in a remote area of Mount San Jacinto at about the 2,500 ft level. RMRU members were able to hike to their location and escort them down the trail. The pair sustained minor bumps, scratches, and minor dehydration, but did not require medical attention.

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. RMRU offers several helpful, lifesaving tips at their website ( Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Cabazon Sheriff’s Station at (951) 922-7100 or at [email protected]