The boys, aged 12 to 14, went out for a day hike but got lost in the thick bamboo that grows in the riverbed. Nearby homeowners heard their cries and called for help.
It took firefighters about an hour to cut through the bamboo and locate the boys in the dark.
"It was dark. Every time you'd step, you'd go down like six feet, so your legs would get all muddy and then as you're walking, there's like poison oak everywhere," said rescued hiker Kyle Gillissie.
The boys were not dressed for the rough terrain or cold, but they only suffered a few bumps and scratches.