On Sunday, March 12, 2017, around , deputies from the Thermal Sheriff’s Station responded to the Mecca Hills Wilderness area regarding three lost hikers. The three female hikers, all residents of the Coachella Valley and in their early twenties, called 9-1-1 when it became dark and they realized they were lost.
Sheriff’s Aviation responded and quickly located the hikers, but they were unable to land the helicopter and assist with the evacuation. Members from the Desert Search and Rescue were called out to the scene to assist. Desert Search and Rescue members hiked into the canyon and guided the three hikers out safely.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department would like to remind hiking enthusiasts to carry proper equipment for any outdoor excursions. Proper preparation includes a well thought-out travel plan shared with friends and family, as well as familiarity with common hiking equipment, such as FPS, maps and compasses.