PACIFIC PALISADES—On Saturday, April 22, a 64 year old man suffering from an ankle injury was airlifted out of a remote portion of Josepho Spur Trail near Pacific Palisades.
Emergency personnel received a 911 call Saturday morning and dispatched an LAFD helicopter to the location. After a short search they were able to find the man on the trail west of Murphy Ranch Stables.
Fire officials lowered a paramedic to the injured man and rendered aid. He was later transported to a nearby hospital.
It is unknown if the hiker was by himself when fire fighters arrived on the scene.
Hiking, backpacking, and camping come with risks. In 2017, 117 people died from hiking, camping, or backpacking accidents in the United States. There are numerous reports of people dying during hiking trips in the Santa Monica Mountains which is where Josepho Spur Trail is located.
In 2020, a 41 year old woman died of heat exhaustion while hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains during a heat wave where temperatures were ranging up to 110 degrees.
The woman was hiking with a friend and began to feel sick, so the pair turned around and headed back toward the car, according to preliminary reports from the LA County Sheriff’s Department. Her friend called paramedics after the woman collapsed. She was later pronounced dead at 2 p.m. that day.
Many hikers may not realize how long or difficult a particular trail is until it’s too late. It is advised that hikers take hikes around the mornings or late afternoons and stick to trails that are less difficult if you are a less experienced hiker.
The Santa Monica Mountains are home to one of the most diverse and unique ecosystems in the world, a Mediterranean-type environment characterized by warm dry summers and wet winters. This geologically active region is marked by alternating canyons and peaks, which characterize many of the trails in the area. The Woolsey Fire burnt vast swaths of the Santa Monica Mountains, with many areas robbed completely of their tree cover and shade which can also pose a danger to hikers.
The National Park Service advises hikers to plan ahead and follow basic safety precautions and are encouraged to recognize and adhere to their own personal limitations. Extra water, food, sun protection, flashlight, map and compass, multipurpose tool, warm clothes, waterproof matches, emergency blanket, and first-aid kit are all essential items hikers should carry with them according to NPS.