NORTH FORK – A hiker who went missing on Friday, June 26, near Clover Meadow was located by Search & Rescue teams after spending the night alone in the forest.
Searchers were called out on Friday afternoon after the man failed to return to where he was camping with a friend.
The 62-year-old man from Wood Acre, Calif., was reportedly an experienced hiker and climber. He and a friend had been camping and taking day hikes from a campsite at Cassidy Trailhead (off of 5S84) when he failed to show up as expected so his friend notified law enforcement.
Madera Sheriff’s Search and Rescue deployed equipment and teams to the area, along with search teams from Mariposa, Kings and Kern Counties, and a National Guard helicopter.
Volunteers combed the area of Granite Creek over to the French Trail, but were unable to find the lost hiker before night fell on Friday.
Citizens on Patrol assisted in manning roadblocks and delivering the Command Post unit to the Clover Meadow Ranger Station and getting it set up so teams could begin the search again with the coming of daylight on Saturday.
Members of the Madera and Kings Counties SAR teams heard someone calling on Saturday morning, but were unable to locate the source of the sounds. At last, the helicopter crew was able to spot the injured hiker in a clearing at about 12:30 p.m.
The man had suffered some cuts and scrapes, and the small amount of food and water he had taken when he set out on his hike were depleted, but he suffered no major injuries.
He was transported to the Batterson Work Station north of Oakhurst by helicopter, and then taken by ground ambulance to a Valley hospital.