Two Southern California hikers reported missing for almost five days were found safe by rescuers, officials said.
According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, a search team discovered two sets of footprints in Cucamonga Canyon, just south of Mount Baldy, and traced them through the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles.
A helicopter team searching the area then spotted two people who were believed to be the missing hikers.
The identities of the hikers were later confirmed to be those of the missing Gabrielle Wallace, 31, of Rancho Cucamonga, and Eric DeSplinter, 33, of Chino Hills.
DeSplinter, a former National Guardsman who served in Afghanistan, was described as an experienced hiker, and the two were said to be properly equipped for the climb. The hikers went missing on April 6 as they made their way toward Cucamonga Peak near Mount Baldy.
The two were originally part of a four-person group, but the other two members turned back due to concerns about the safety of the trail.
Search teams covered over 30 square miles looking for the missing couple, with multiple agencies from across the region helping in the search, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department said.
While hiking is an activity that can be enjoyed by almost everyone, it can quickly take a dangerous turn if you’re unprepared and get trapped, especially in cold conditions. Aside from proper equipment, it’s highly recommended to check trail and weather conditions before your trip.