Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On Dec. 6, 2020, at about 9:40 a.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s Special Services deputies were dispatched to the Headwaters Forest Reserve for the report of a 27-year-old solo male hiker who had become lost.

The hiker had reportedly arrived at the reserve early that morning and was hiking the Salmon Path Trail when he somehow got off trail and became disoriented, at one point falling into a creek. Deputies requested the assistance of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Posse to assist with an aerial and ground search for the hiker.

Deputies were able to obtain approximate GPS coordinates for the hiker and crews began searching the area. At about 3:30 p.m., the USCG helicopter crew spotted the hiker, however due to the terrain they were unable hoist the hiker to safety. The crew was able to drop a handheld radio to the hiker allowing him to communicate with the rescue team.

At about 5:30 p.m., members of the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Posse were able to reach the hiker by foot and escort him out to safety. The hiker did not sustain injuries during this incident. 

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the United States Coast Guard and the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Posse for their assistance in this successful search and rescue operation.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public to take caution and be prepared when hiking or accessing the beach.

Even if you are just planning a short day-hike, be sure to:

  • Carry a flashlight
  • Bring extra water and high-energy foods 
  • Pack a small first aid kit
  • Dress properly for a hike and prepare for changes in the weather by bringing rain gear or a jacket. 
  • Tell somewhere where you are going and when you plan to return. 
  • Stay on an established trail and if in an unfamiliar area, bring a map. 
  • Be sure to charge your cell phone prior to leaving home. 

If you do become lost while hiking and are unable to find your way out, the best thing to do is to stay where you are and call 9-1-1.

To learn how you can become a member of the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Posse, visit