Two Hikers and Dogs Rescued from Hot Springs Canyon
Source: Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue (SBCSAR)
[Saturday] evening around 6:30 pm SBCSAR responded with Montecito Fire to the Hot Springs Canyon area above the old hotel for a report of two stranded hikers with two dogs above a large cliff.
The hikers had been looking for one dog after it had become spooked and ran off. Upon finding the dog at dusk in the creek bed, the hikers walked down the canyon with the thought it would lead back to the trail while assisting one of the dogs. This led the two subjects to a cliff with no exit and no ability to hike out in the dark. A family member that had been hiking with the group earlier before the dog spooked was notified of the situation and contacted fire personnel at their neighborhood SB City Fire Station 3 to get a response started in Montecito.
Upon arriving at the area just after 7 pm, SAR and Montecito Fire teams proceeded to determine the best access to the hikers. Teams went up both sides and a SAR team on the East side was able to scramble up a seam and traverse over to the subjects to provide an initial evaluation of the situation. Both hikers were in good spirits and uninjured. Due to the difficulty in the scramble and the possibility of one dog having difficulty in moving after a minor injury to its paw, a rope rescue lower was determined to be the best option.
SAR and Fire set up a rope system off an anchor in the creek to lower both subjects and both dogs down to teams waiting in the creek at the base of the cliff. The operation took numerous hours and all teams returned to quarters after 1:00 am following demobilization of the rope systems, scene lighting, and equipment staging area.
A big thank you to all the team members that responded and our close working relationship and friends at Montecito Fire on these incidents which led to a safe and successful operation for all involved.