Forever Lost in the Wilderness

     I wonder if I will ever be a headline like the one above… I think if I stick to hiking in Minnesota I might be ok but then again anything is possible. I often hike alone in places no one else hikes but I usually stick to the trails. I often wonder why so many people get lost in the wilderness only to be discovered years later as a pile of bones by other hikers. Did they want to get lost forever in the wilderness or did they want to be found?

Search Suspended for Missing Hiker Larry Conn

The search for the missing Pacific Palisades hiker became more challenging as environmental conditions worsened, according to the National Parks Service.


Efforts to locate missing hiker Larry Conn in the eastern Sierra Mountains were suspended Thursday after an intense search revealed no clues.

“The National Park Service and our partners have searched for Larry Conn in challenging conditions in a vast area of wilderness," said Dave Fox, incident commander, in a press release. "We have followed up on all potential clues. There is little information left to direct search operations. We will continue to actively search for Larry Conn, if new information is revealed through investigation or tips.”

The search of likely areas lasted for eight days utilizing 56 personnel from multiple agencies, with 10 ground search teams, three dog teams, and five helicopters. Conn, 53, of Pacific Palisades began a four-day trip in the rugged wilderness of Kings Canyon National Park starting at Taboose Passon Oct. 19, when he was seen by an outbound hiker.

A winter storm arrived in the area on the night of Oct. 20 and deposited up to 12 inches of snow. Conn was reported overdue to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department on the evening of Oct. 23, and the Sheriff’s Department confirmed his vehicle was still at the trailhead. On Oct. 24, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department notified the National Park Service of the missing hiker. Search operations began in Kings Canyon National Park on Oct. 24 and continued through Oct. 31.

Environmental conditions were challenging in the search area – a total of 48 square miles of mountainous terrain. Elevations ranged from 8,000 to 14,000 feet.

Nighttime temperatures dropped to as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Snowdrifts made travel by foot difficult. Two searchers were evacuated by helicopter due to medical concerns related to environmental conditions. The Incident Management Team, with the assistance of the State Search and Rescue Coordinator, reviewed operations and decided to suspend the active search.

Related Topics: Kings Canyon National Park Service, Larry Conn, and Missing Hiker