Royal Fire: Sheriff spots 13 missing hikers in Tahoe National Forest

The Placer County Sheriff's Office said investigators spotted 13 young hikers Monday morning in the Tahoe National Forest who were camping about two miles from the Royal Fire. 

At 6:30 a.m., the sheriff's office wrote on social media that the hikers, ranging in age from 16 to 20 years old, could not be found. 

But the sheriff later confirmed that the agency's helicopter, Falcon 30, found the group, who had been sleeping on a beautiful rock outcropping along the Palisades Creek trail, two miles away from the wildfire.

The sheriff's office shared video from the helicopter, showing sleeping bags on the rock, with tall trees overhead and stunning views of the forest. 

The sheriff said everyone was OK, and the group would hike out with search and rescue crews.

The good news came after sheriff's spokesperson Ty Conners told KCRA-3 in Sacramento on Sunday that they found four empty cars at the Palisades Creek trailhead, near the southern area of the fire zone. 

The Royal Fire started Sunday in the Tahoe National Forest west of Soda Springs near Soda Springs Road. 

As of Monday, the fire had burned about 170 acres. 

Cal Fire crews said they believe the fire was started by a camp fire.  

Hikers found on the Palisades Creek trailhead. July 8, 2024 Photo: Placer County Sheriff 

The Placer County Sheriffs Office is searching for 13 missing hikers near the Royal Fire zone. July 8, 2024. Photo: sheriff