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Lost Hiker Rescued and Shares Inspiring Tale of Survival and Resilience



Quick Smiles:

  • Lukas McClish, an adventurous hiker from Boulder Creek, California, was found unharmed after spending nine nights alone in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
  • He sustained himself on his journey through the wilderness using only a flashlight and folding scissors, drinking creek water, eating wild berries and hiking every day.
  • Following his rescue, McClish had a heartfelt reunion with his family and was touched by the overwhelming concern and aid from his local community.

In an uplifting story of resilience and adventure, a man named Lukas McClish was discovered alive on Thursday, following nine challenging nights alone in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains.

McClish initiated his hike on June 11, expecting it would be a brief three-hour journey. Unbeknownst to him, his adventure would take an unexpected turn. McClish embarked on his journey alone, equipped merely with a flashlight and folding scissors, without informing anyone of his plans.

Demonstrating supreme resourcefulness, McClish, who was without a shirt, drank from a creek and ate wild berries to keep himself going during the long, demanding days. He pressed on determinedly through the wilderness, navigating the perilous canyons terrain each day of his unplanned survival expedition.

His family, not knowing where he was, had a stressful Father’s Day, filing a missing person’s report and initiating a search operation. Their relief at his safe return was immeasurable.

“I’m sore and a little tired and I lost my voice,” McClish shared about his experience. “I just made sure I drank a gallon of water every day. But then, towards the end, my body needed food and some type of sustenance.”

During the night, McClish improvised a bed of leaves to sleep on, called for help, and daydreamed about his favorite foods – a burrito and a taco bowl. Thursday brought a ray of hope when someone heard his calls for help.


Through a collective effort involving first responders, a drone, and a state park’s K-9 unit, McClish was located in a remote canyon. This led to an emotional reunion with his overjoyed family.

His mother expressed her gratitude to those who supported them, saying, “I’ve met a lot of people because more individuals came and expressed their love for my son and their hope that we would find him. I didn’t realize so many people in this town love Luke.”

McClish described the moment of rescue as a deeply humbling experience. “It was just really humbling. It was an amazing experience,” he reflected. Despite his ordeal, McClish remained impressively calm throughout his unforeseen adventure, asserting that he wasn’t worried at any point, feeling completely at ease with nature.


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