Hiker rescued after suffering possible spider bite in California mountains

Mather Pass on the John Muir Trail / Pacific Crest Trail in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Kings Canyon National Park, California, USA. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

FISH SPRINGS, California. – A woman hiking in the high Sierra Nevada had to be rescued after a detour and water break led to a serious health emergency, authorities said.

Inyo County Search and Rescue says on June 12, the woman was hiking the John Muir Trail north of Kings Canyon National Park when she encountered deep snow on Mather Pass.


Feeling uneasy about walking through the snow, the woman took the Taboose Pass trail, which was the second-easiest way out of the Sierra.

Just under two miles from the trailhead, she went to get water from a stream when she was bitten by what she thought was a spider.

Shortly after, the woman was “unable to feel the skin on her legs” and was unable to continue her exit hike, the SAR team said. She was able to share her contact details while calling for help before her phone died.

Rescue teams treated a hiker who suffered a medical emergency while hiking in the Sierra Nevada in June 2024. (Inyo County Search & Rescue)

Responding crews first used ropes, then a litter on wheels to transport the hiker to a nearby trailhead.

The woman’s condition, as well as the type of spider involved, have not been released.

In California, black widows, especially females, are considered the most common spiders capable of injuring people.

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