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Helicopter Crew, Volunteers Locate 60-Year-Old Man Lost Above Idyllwild

The search took place Saturday afternoon and early evening on a ridge above Idyllwild and the Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail, according to the Sheriff's Department.

A 60-year-old man got lost Saturday near South Ridge Trail above Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Mountains and volunteers and a sheriff's helicopter crew located him, a Riverside County sheriff's sergeant said Sunday.

The men went for a dayhike about 2 p.m. Oct. 13, starting at the South Ridge trailhead, up the hill from Tahquitz View Drive in Idyllwild, Sgt. Scott Sargent of the sheriff's Hemet Station said.

The man left the trail, got lost and used his cell phone to contact the Sheriff's Department, Sargent said.

About 2:40 p.m., the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit volunteers responded to the location to lead search efforts, Sargent said. Hemet Station deputies responded to the trailhead just after 3 p.m., but they could not find the man.

The trail ascends South Ridge from a spring at around 6,400 feet elevation to 8,846-foot Tahquitz Peak. To the east, the mountains drop steeply several thousand feet to the Indian Canyons and south Palm Springs.

A Riverside County sheriff's helicopter crew eventually located the man and guided volunteers on the ground to his location. Mountain rescue squad members reached the man about 6:30 p.m. and escorted him back to his campsite near the trailhead, Sargent said.

"The lost hiker did not sustain any injuries and refused medical attention," Sargent said.

Idyllwild, the South Ridge Trail and Tahquitz Peak are off Highway 243 in the San Jacinto Mountains southeast of Redlands and Loma Linda.

Anyone with more info about the incident was urged to contact Sargent at the Hemet Station, (951) 791-3406.

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