The body of a missing 53-year-old hiker was found in Sequoia National Park on Thursday.
Park officials said the body was found underwater at the base of a waterfall at Panther Creek. It was transported to the Tulare County Coroner’s Office for identification. A park spokeswoman refused to identify the man’s hometown.
One helicopter and 36 National Park Service staff members joined in the search effort.
The man was reported missing Wednesday afternoon. A group of hikers had passed him on the Middle Fork Trail earlier in the day, but they later found his backpack unattended near a campground at the top of the waterfall.
The man apparently was backpacking alone on a trail in 90-degree heat. The other hikers said he looked very tired.
Park officials believe he ran out of water by the time he reached his campsite. They’re not sure how he ended up at the bottom of the waterfall.
They recommend visitors be careful while swimming or crossing streams and waterways, as they are moving faster than in recent years because of more rain and snow last winter.
Rory Appleton: 559-441-6015, @RoryDoesPhonics
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