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Hiker lost for 10 days found alive in Northern California mountains

Lukas McClish was found alive in a remote canyon when passersby heard his cries for help 10 days after he got lost in the mountains of Northern California.

A hiker who got lost in the mountains of Northern California for over a week was found alive on Thursday after witnesses heard his cries for help, authorities said.

Lukas McClish, 34, disappeared on June 11 after setting off on a hike in Boulder Creek, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said. He was found yelling for help 10 days later in a remote canyon in Big Basin State Park.

McClish told KGO-TV that he had left his home in Boulder Creek with few supplies, believing he was only going for a three-hour hike before getting lost in the Santa Cruz Mountains.


I left with just a pair of pants, and my pair of hiking shoes, and a hat. I had a flashlight, and a pair of folding scissors, like a Leatherman tool. And that was about it,” McClish told KGO-TV.

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McClish was reported missing five days later after he failed to show up to a family gathering on Father’s Day, KSWB-TV reported.

The 34-year-old told KSWB that he survived 10 days lost in the wild by drinking water from creeks and waterfalls out of his boot, eating wild berries and sleeping on a bed of wet leaves. All the while, he yelled for help in the hopes of being rescued.

McClish’s calls went unanswered until Thursday, when the sheriff’s office said multiple witnesses reported hearing someone yelling for help in Big Basin State Park. 

The sheriff’s office launched a drone to establish the exact location of the voice, and spotted McClish in the forest between Empire Grade and Big Basin Highway near Foreman Creek.

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McClish had no major injuries, according to the sheriff’s office, and he was reunited with his family. Officials shared photos of a ragged McClish hugging family in the woods.

McClish said he’s had enough of the outdoors for a while.

“I did enough hiking for probably the whole rest of the year,” he told KGO-TV.

Multiple agencies assisted the sheriff’s office in the rescue effort, including CAL Fire CZU, Boulder Creek Volunteer Fire Department, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California State Parks.

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