Texas Parks and Wildlife reported that a hiker was rescued Friday after getting lost at Big Bend Ranch State Park without food or water in 106-degree heat.
According to a statement by Texas Parks and Wildlife, a Big Bend Ranch State Park police officer and a Presidio County game warden were patrolling River Road overnight when they noticed a car parked in the Closed Canyon Trail parking lot after the park closed.
The officer and game warden said they saw a park pass, a car rental agreement, a jug of water and snacks, but the driver was nowhere to be found. The officer and game warden hiked the trail in the dark as far they could safely go and called out for the lost hiker.
“The next morning, another park police officer was informed about a possible lost hiker,” Texas Parks and Wildlife officials said in a statement. “He checked the parking lot and saw that the car was still parked there, undisturbed.”
The three officers headed back to the Closed Canyon Trail that afternoon with rappelling equipment to search further down the trail.
When they reached the first of three steep “pour-offs,” the officer called out for the hiker who excitedly responded for help, TPW officials said.
According to TPW, the hiker was dehydrated, exhausted and had injured his ankle after he had fallen into a water hole.
“Panicked, he decided to continue down the trail thinking it would lead him back to the parking lot,” TPW’s statement reads. “Temperatures that day were around 106 degrees and he drank river water to try to keep hydrated.”
TPW officials said officers at the scene requested a helicopter to help rescue the hiker, but due to bad weather, it was not available until the next morning.
An additional game warden, two state park rangers, a U.S. Border Patrol agent and a Presidio County Sheriff’s Deputy were able to help the hiker climb back over the pour-offs, officials said.
The hiker received medical care on-site and was later taken to a local hospital for further treatment.