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San Benito
April 16, 2024

Pinnacles National Park hiker rescued by helicopter

With temperatures hitting triple digits, someone had to be rescued by helicopter Saturday in the high peaks of Pinnacles National Park.
In another incident Sunday, someone was rescued by ambulance as well, a park spokeswoman said.

The incidents highlight the potential dangers of hiking in severe heat experienced during the summertime months at Pinnacles National Park, where temperatures will regularly hit triple digits from now through September, said Elizabeth Hudick with the National Park Service.

The first of two rescues occurred in the late afternoon Saturday. Hudick believes a male hiker was rescued in the High Peaks area of Pinnacles. A Calfire helicopter had to land in the High Peaks area and transport the hiker and a companion to safety.

“It doesn’t happen too often where we have helicopter rescues,” Hudick said.

She said it was about 100-102 degrees around the time of the rescue. Though cell service is iffy at the park, she thinks the person suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration was able to reach authorities on a phone. He was with another hiker at the time, Hudick believes.

The spokeswoman said Pinnacles makes sure to have visitor center staff and park signs encourage shorter trails and drinking lots of water during the hot summer months.
“If you want to come to visit in summer time, be smart about the heat,” she said. “Check the forecast for the park itself, not looking at the surrounding communities.”

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