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Hikers rescued after night of being lost in Kahaualea Forest Reserve

The Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve trailhead at the end of Captain's Drive/Ala Kapena Drive in Glenwood, Hawaii. Officially the trail is closed but hikers and hunters often enter the area. Hawaii 24/7 File Photo.

The Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve trailhead at the end of Captain’s Drive/Ala Kapena Drive in Glenwood, Hawaii. Officially the trail is closed but hikers and hunters often enter the area. Hawaii 24/7 File Photo.

The Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve trail at the end of Captain's Drive in Glenwood, Hawaii. Officially the trail is closed but hikers and hunters often enter the area. Hawaii 24/7 File Photo.

The Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve trail at the end of Captain’s Drive in Glenwood, Hawaii. Officially the trail is closed but hikers and hunters often enter the area. Hawaii 24/7 File Photo.

Fire/rescue crews answered a 9:23 a.m. alarm Friday (Jan 30) to the Kahaualea Forest Reserve in the Volcano area for a pair of lost hikers.

The two men, aged 22-years-old and 23-years-old, who are newcomers to the islands hiked early Thursday through the Kahaualea Forest Reserve to go to Pu‘u ‘O‘o Crater. On the way back the hikers got lost in the thick rainforest, phoned a friend saying they were unable to find the main trail and were spending the night in the forest. Their friend contacted the fire department who started a search in morning Friday.

At 10:30 a.m. Friday the hikers called 911 and dispachers were able to determine their GPS coordinates. Ground crews and Chopper One searched in the GPS referenced area and located the men. Chopper One airlifted the hikers via rescue net out of the forest.

The two men did not require medical assistance and were questioned by police and DLNR officers.

The trail is officially closed to hikers, contains many side trails which make it easy to wander off the main trail. The rain forest is dominated by old growth Ohia and Hapuu Ferns which make directional visibility difficult at ground level and cellphone signals weak. There have been many hikers rescued from the area after becoming lost.

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