Incidents at Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks: July 25-August 9



Ash Mountain

July 25—  Rangers responded to Buckeye Flat Campground to a report of a female that stated two males were recording her while she was in the restroom. The incident had occurred the previous night. Rangers interviewed the victim. No suspects have been identified at this time.

July 27—  Rangers received a report of cattle trespassing in the park in the North Fork area.  There were signs that cattle had been in the area but no cattle were located.

August 2— A resident reported a smell of propane in the housing area. Structural fire staff responded and was unable to locate the source of the smell of propane, which dissipated. 

August 6— Search-and-rescue personnel responded to a report of a 62-year-old male who fell off a cliff in the South Fork area. Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, Tulare County Fire, and Cal Fire were first on scene. The patient fell approximately 10 feet and suffered head and shoulder injuries. He was floated down a short section of river, where a steep-angle rescue was conducted, then transferred by ambulance to a Skylife helicopter.

August 7— Search-and-rescue personnel responded to a report of a 13-year-old boy stuck on a ledge near Potwisha Falls. The boy was swimming when the current pulled him toward the ledge, which was just above water level and underneath an overhanging cliff. A family member made his way to the ledge to assist and both awaited help. A swiftwater rescue was conducted, and rescue swimmers accessed the stranded swimmers and swam them to safety on the other side of the river.  



July 28— A 30-year-old female experienced a severe asthma attack near Lodgepole Market; rangers assisted her breathing with a bag valve mask. She received advanced life support care by a Parkmedic ranger and was flown by Lifeflight to the hospital from the Red Fir Helispot.

July 29 See article: Teen hiker dies in Sequoia.

July 30— There was a combined total of five separated-party calls at various locations throughout the Giant Forest and Lodgepole areas. All calls required only minor assistance from ranger staff.

July 31— Rangers responded to a reported fall victim along the Crystal Cave Trail. The initial report was of a 40-to-50-year-old female with a lacerated lower leg and head contusion. Patient denied the need for medical attention with cave staff and left the scene prior to the arrival of rangers.

July 31— At the same time rangers were responding to the Crystal Cave incident (above), a second medical incident was reported at the Giant Forest Museum. The initial report was of a 16-year-old female suffering from a head injury due to a standing fall. The patient was ultimately transported by Ambulance 6 and transferred to an advanced life support ambulance.

July 31— While on scene with this first patient at the Giant Forest Museum, a second patient (with the same tour group) came forward with a chief complaint of chills and uncontrolled shivering. This patient was also transported by Ambulance 6 and transferred to an advance life support ambulance.

July 31— Rangers responded to the Lodgepole Visitor Center to a report of an allergic reaction to food. Patient was reported as a 15-year-old female with facial swelling and itchiness in the throat after eating a peach. Rangers arrived on scene and confirmed the signs and symptoms. One dose of epinephrine was administered with positive results. The patient was transported and transferred to an advanced life support ambulance.

August 2— A group of three young children (8 years old and younger) were reported missing at Dorst Campground. A search was initiated, and the children were found by a fire effects crewmember on the Muir Grove Trail.


Mineral King

July 26— A 19-year-old female began experiencing issues with dehydration and abdominal pain in Kern Canyon. She was contacted by a park employee, who hiked her to an EMT in Rattlesnake Canyon. She complained of general abdominal pain and infrequent dark-colored urine. The patient was determined to require evacuation and was flown the Ash Mountain Helibase where she was transported to the hospital by ambulance.         


High Sierra

July 25—  A 26-year-old male began suffering from general illness issues and had not improved for five days. His party had carried his belongings for the prior two days and ended up at Wallace Creek, where he was contacted by a ranger. A helicopter evacuation was conducted and the patient was transported to the hospital, by ambulance.

July 26— A 73-year-old male fell while hiking near Forester Pass, injuring his hip. He continued with the assistance of his party to the Tyndall Creek Ranger Station, where he was evaluated by a ranger. A helicopter evacuation was conducted, and the patient was transported to the hospital, by ambulance.

July 27— A 50-year-old female began experiencing non-traumatic pain in her knee while hiking with her husband on the Pacific Crest Trail. She was having difficulty hiking with all of her gear. Rangers assisted by removing some of her nonessential gear to transport out at a later date and assisted them in hiking out to the trailhead.

July 30— A male in his 30s experienced shortness of breath below the summit of Alta Peak. He was reported to be non-ambulatory with preexisting decreased lung function on one side. An EMT and reported that the patient had made it to Mehrten Meadow and was feeling better. A helicopter response with a Parkmedic was initially planned, but was instructed to stand down due to the patient’s improved condition. The EMT accompanied the hiker to the Wolverton trailhead.  

August 2— A group of hikers reported that a male in his 60s was hiking solo over Forester Pass and was continually falling down. They reported he had no water and refused assistance. Rangers responded and spoke with the man, who stated that he planned to hike very short distances each day based on his physical abilities. He refused assistance.

August 4— Rangers contacted a 62-year-old male at Nathan’s Meadow who was experiencing shortness of breath on exertion. He requested assistance and inquired about stock transport out. Pack stations were unable to transport him as he was over the weight threshold. The ranger hiked him to a point where he was able to hike out with assistance from his hiking partner.

August 5— After dark, rangers received a report of a middle aged man lying in the middle of the trail at the junction of the JMT and Mt. Whitney trails. He was described as hypothermic with an inability to stand or speak clearly. Bystanders called for help, and he was waiting for a rescue. A ranger responded on foot, arriving approximately five hours later to find the subject had walked out with assistance from other hikers.



Grant Grove

July 31— Rangers responded to a report of a 48-year-old female experiencing difficulty breathing and chest pain at the John Muir Lodge. The patient was transported via ALS ambulance.


Cedar Grove

July 26— A bear bluff-charged Cedar Grove trailhead staff just below Sphinx Junction.

July 29— A patient was transported by ambulance for high blood pressure.

July 31— Cedar Grove staff managed a search-and-rescue at Palisade Lake for general illness. The patient was evacuated by helicopter.

August 1— An ambulance medical transport of a juvenile female was performed.  

August 6— Rangers made a DUI arrest at approximately 11 pm.

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