Johnson County hikers lost, rescued in California

Two Johnson County residents were rescued unharmed in southern California after they got lost on a mountain hike.

A 51-year-old man from Bargersville and a 39-year-old Greenwood man were hiking to the top of Mount San Jacinto Peak and got lost trying to get back to Palm Springs, about six miles east of the mountain.

The men were planning on hiking for about two hours Tuesday but went down the wrong side of the mountain with no trail on it to lead them back to the parking lot, said California State Park Peace Officer Supervisor Todd Friedman.

Six hours after they started hiking, the duo called for help once they found a spot with cellphone service.

The men were not wearing enough clothing to stay warm in 15-degree temperatures and were experiencing hypothermia before they were rescued, Friedman said. A rescue bag with food, water, warm clothing, tarps and a radio was dropped via helicopter while they were waiting for a rescue team to find them, Friedman said.

The two men were found between two peaks and rescued by the State Parks Rescue Team around 10:30 p.m. The men then stayed in the ranger station overnight until they could catch a tram back to Palm Springs.

The men’s names are not being released, but the Hoosiers are back in Palm Springs, Friedman said. Neither needed additional medical attention after spending the night in the ranger station, he said.