MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A Valley family has been found safe and sound in the forest after not returning on time from an overnight camping trip, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office says.
Deputies say over the weekend a family from the Mariposa area set out on a hike to Spotted Lakes, located inside Yosemite National Park boundaries, and when they didn’t return the next afternoon, concerned family members reached out.
It was then that MCSO says it assembled a Search And Rescue effort to locate the 40-year-old man and his three daughters.
Type-1 Foot Searchers, Off-Highway Vehicle Teams, an Overhead Team, as well as the United States Forest Service, and the California Highway Patrol helicopter were assembled. Additionally, the sheriff’s office says, the National Park Service’s helicopter and one of their Type-1 Foot Searcher Teams were dispatched.
Searchers say the family was eventually located in good health and high spirits by a USFS Law Enforcement Officer, and the hikers told them they had encountered inclement weather and needed to stay in place for an additional night.
Once the weather cleared enough the following morning they say they were able to hike out of the back country until they encountered the forest service employee.
“We are grateful for the successful outcome of this mission, and happy the family was located safely. We would like to thank our partners with USFS, CHP, and NPS for their dedicated efforts to help ensure the safety of residents and visitors to Madera County,” said Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue.