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Mountain Bikers Airlifted, Rescued Off Palm Desert Trail

Two men called the Palm Desert sheriff's station for help after they got lost on the Art Smith Trail between Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage on Wednesday, sheriff's officials said.

Mountain Bikers Airlifted, Rescued Off Palm Desert Trail

Two men were home safe and injury-free Thursday, after a rescue by local sheriff's crews a day earlier.

Riverside County sheriff's Sergeant Dan Devinny says the two men were mountain biking on the Art Smith Trail between Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage Wednesday afternoon.

"The two adult males began their trek this morning on their mountain bikes in the Cathedral City Cove," Devinny said in a statement Wednesday night.  "They had hoped to take the trail to the termination point in south Palm Desert at Highway 74."

That plan apparently went awry when they became "disoriented" and "realized they needed assistance," the sergeant said.

The two were able to call for help on their cell phones, and the sheriff's department sent out their helicopter in search of the duo.  Thanks in part to a small fire they lit, the helicopter crew was able to spot the men at around 5 p.m., Devinny said.

"Both were airlifted out along with their bicycles," he said.  "Neither hiker sustained any injuries."

The two men had made it to a point approximately four miles southwest of the Magnesia Springs Canyon, according to Devinny.

"The Palm Desert Police encourages hikers to carefully plan their hikes and to take plenty food and water and adequate clothing, especially during this time of the year," he added.

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