Mary Eldridge, public information officer for Cal Fire, said the rescues were “all over,” with two taking place at Upper Lake Clementine, one on River View Trail near Auburn, one on Western States Trail near Foresthill, one on Pioneer Express Trail near Auburn, one on Steven’s Trail in Colfax and the last incident at Hidden Falls Regional Park on South Legacy Trail.
Six incidents involved individuals who were unprepared for the trail conditions, according to Eldridge. One such incident involved a 17-year-old female who became ill from the heat during her hike on Steven’s Trail and had to be transported by helicopter to an ambulance. According to Eldridge, Steven’s Trail is a 9-mile hike with an abundance of sun exposure.
The last incident involved an individual who sustained an ankle injury.
“These are not easy hikes people are attempting,” Eldridge said.
According to Eldridge, this volume of incidents due to being unprepared for trail conditions is uncommon and may be due to an influx of visitors who may have seen the trail in a social media post and wanted to get outside during the COVID-19 restrictions. This increase in incidents results in an increase on the need for a range of rescues and resources.
“Those visitors are not used to the conditions of the trail,” Eldridge said. “Our trails aren’t paved. Wilderness trails are not your common, paved urban trail.”
Eldridge recommends staying hydrated and bringing water on the hike. Hikers should start hydrating the day before and avoid caffeine. Starting the day with caffeine, Eldridge said, leaves you already dehydrated and by 10 a.m., temperatures are reaching the point of taking resources out of you.
Eldridge also recommends researching the trail beyond the social media post.
“Please learn a little bit about the trail,” she said. “Really know how long the trail is and the conditions of the trail.”
The final piece of advice Eldridge offers to hikers is to remember you can stop along the trail. Hikers should find shade, rest and drink water if needed.
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