Search Under Way For Missing Backpackers in Kings Canyon National Park

Searchers headed into the backcountry of Kings Canyon National Park on Wednesday to look for three backpackers who failed to return on schedule Monday from a roughly 65-mile-long trek. NPS file photo.

A search is under way in the high country of Kings Canyon National Park for three young men who failed to return Monday from a planned 65-mile trek.

Planning began Tuesday for the search for Jordan Zeman, 25, Jake Zeman, 23, and Lanier Rogers, 25, all of southern California, according to a park release. The trio began their trip from Road’s End in the Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon last Wednesday with the intention of walking out on Monday. Family reported the backpackers missing around 10 p.m. Monday.

Searchers were being summoned Wednesday from around California to aid Sequoia and Kings Canyon rangers in the effort.

Backcountry hikers in the wilderness area between Road’s End, east to Forrester Pass, or south to the Kern-Kaweah River, are asked to call incident investigators at 559-565-3195 whether or not they saw a group matching that of the missing men.

Heavy rain and higher-elevation snow from the recent storm, enormity of the search area, inability to use aircraft due to weather conditions, and difficult terrain were adding to the complexity of the search.

Comments

Kurt, off the topic, I have a question for you. I read a library book a couple of years ago about a ranger who vanished from his post in King's Canyton and whose body was found in the water a couple of years (I think) later. He was going through personal trauma at the time and there was some talk of suicide (although that proved to be untrue). It was a hell of a book,, heartbreaking and insightful, and I'd like to get a copy of it, but for the life of me I can't remember the name of the book or the other. Would you happen to know what I'm talking about? I'm going to try Google but I don't know if I have enough info. Thank you.

Lynn -

The book is The Last Season, by Eric Blehm.

Any updates on the Zeman search?

Lynn,

Here's a link to a review I wrote on the book.

http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/review/2006/last-season

No substantive updates yet. Last night the park reported that the search was moving forward, but there were no developments. Hopefully there will be good news today.

Also, is there a website where the SAR activities are updated? I know in San Bernardino County there is, but not sure in this area. Thanks.

"The Last Season" was one of my favorite reads! I have read several others ("Angels In The Wilderness", "Missing In The Minarets', "Shattered Air", "Into The Wild", "Sunk Without A Sound", "Death In The Grizzly Maze" just to name a few) and I thoroughly enjoyed Mr Blehm's story of Back Country Ranger, Randy Morgenson!