Searchers Find Four Hikers Missing Overnight in Angeles National Forest

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department helicopter rescue crew airlifted the hikers to safety

Four hikers reported missing during a cold overnight in the mountains north of Altadena were found early Tuesday a airlifted to safety aboard a sheriff's department helicopter.

A search for the three men and one woman, family members who had been missing since 10 p.m, began at 5 a.m. Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department helicopter crew airlifted three of the hikers to safety. A fourth hiker walked out of the area.

One of the hikers, who asked to be identified as David, said he set out Monday with his son and two friends. They wandered off course and decided to camp for the night.

"We just had to stay overnight because it wasn't safe to travel at night," David said.

A missing person report was filed Monday night at Altadena Sheriff Station during one of the coldest nights of the year in Southern California. The individuals were described as avid hikers, however it is unclear if they were prepared for the bitterly overnight temperatures, which dipped into the 30s.

Their vehicle was located at the Switzer Falls picnic area parking lot, located off Angeles Crest Highway north of the San Gabriel Valley communities of Altadena and La Canada Flintridge. 

Search and rescue teams were looking in the Switzer Falls area of the San Gabriel Moutains, with a command post established at the 29 mile marker.

Switzer Falls is popular among hikers due to the waterfall sitting deep in Arroyo Seco Canyon in the Angeles National Forest.

NBC4's Annette Arreola contributed to this report.

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