NewsSurvivor of Santa Cruz mountains: Lost hiker spends 10 days in the wilderness

Survivor of Santa Cruz mountains: Lost hiker spends 10 days in the wilderness

A man in the embrace of his family.
A man in the embrace of his family.
Images source: © CNN
Mateusz Kaluga

24 June 2024 09:54

A 34-year-old man went for a walk in the mountains, which ended disastrously. Instead of the planned three hours, he spent ten days there, surviving thanks to nearby waterfalls and wild fruits. He even drank water straight from his shoe. Upon being found, he joked that he had had enough of the outdoors.

CNN reports the incredible story of 34-year-old Lukas McClish from California. The American went for a hike around Boulder Creek in the Santa Cruz Mountains, in the San Francisco area, along the Pacific Ocean coast. He got lost because recent wildfires had burned a significant part of the area, possibly causing him to lose his sense of direction.

His family reported him missing on 16 June, five days after he did not show up for a family dinner organised for Father's Day. He was finally found on 20 June, thanks to a drone from the Santa Cruz sheriff's office. The drone was launched to locate sounds as witnesses had reported hearing desperate cries for help.

McClish was found in Big Basin Redwoods State Park – the oldest state park in California and home to the largest stand of ancient coastal sequoias. The park also has numerous swamps inhabited by bobcats, foxes, deer, coyotes, cougars, opossums, and one of the most dangerous snakes – the Pacific rattlesnake.

He ate wild berries and drank water from streams

The man was found alive after witnesses repeatedly heard cries for help. The tourist revealed he had left home wearing just one pair of trousers, shoes, and a hat. He had brought with him a torch and folding scissors.

CNN reports that McClish survived by drinking water from streams and waterfalls... straight from his shoe. Interestingly, he made sure to drink at least 4 litres every day. Additionally, he ate wild berries. His "bed" was made from wet leaves. After being examined by medical services, the 34-year-old had no injuries.

In a conversation with the media, the man joked that he had had enough of the outdoors and hiking probably until the end of the year.

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