Officials say four men from the Oceanside area were camping on Friday night and intended to go on a day hike Saturday on Fish Creek Trail. But in the morning, they got a two-hour late start, and one hiker, James Goins, got sick and went back to the camp site.
"I was getting blurry-eyed and I was out of breath, and I didn't think it would be good for me to continue considering it was another 10 miles to the summit," Goins said.
Ryan Shankles, David Yoder and Miguel De La Torre continued on, heading to the top of Mt. San Gorgonio, the highest peak in Southern California. When they didn't return by 8 p.m., Goins and a camp host began to worry.
"We decided to drive his vehicle up to the truck to see if they had come back to the truck, and the rock that I left on the hood was still there," Goins said. "Basically there was no sign of them."
For the next two days, there were approximately 60 search-and-rescue members assisting, many of them on horseback.
"They're going to come back safely, I'm really positive minded that they're doing the best they can," Goins said.
Authorities say the hikers are experienced and have provisions, but they did not plan to stay overnight on the mountain. Deputy Christopher Morsch of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said it was likely only 30 degrees Sunday night, but they weren't dressed for inclement weather. Officials say the men were wearing T-shirts and shorts, but had sweaters with them.