January 11, 2016
PALM SPRINGS, Calif – On Saturday, January 9, at about 11:10 at night, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Cabazon Station deputies received information regarding a possible lost hiker in the Mount San Jacinto Wilderness area. It was reported 28-year-old, Evan Gawlick of San Diego, started a day hike at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. When Mr. Gawlick exceeded his planned return time back to the tramway, a friend contacted the Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies responded to the tramway to gather preliminary information. Due to the recent extreme weather conditions and several feet of snow on the mountain, specialized teams were requested to assist with the search. Members of the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit (RMRU) and the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT) assisted in the search and ultimately in locating Mr. Gawlick.
After several hours of searching, Mr. Gawlick was found traversing down the mountain near the Snow Creek Community. It was learned Mr. Gawlick hiked to the summit of Mount San Jacinto. Upon his descent back down to the tramway, Mr. Gawlick missed the cutoff trail and continued hiking down. As night fell, Mr. Gawlick was able to shelter himself under the ledge of a rock and build a fire for warmth. At sunrise, he continued his descent down the trail until he was located. Mr. Gawlick was medically evaluated and only suffered minor injuries.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department would like to remind hiking enthusiasts to carry proper equipment for any outdoor excursion. Proper preparedness includes a well-thought-out travel plan shared with friends and family, as well as familiarity with common hiking equipment, such as GPS, maps and compasses. RMRU offers several helpful, lifesaving tips at their website (www.rmru.org). Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Cabazon Sheriff’s Station at 951- 922-7100.