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Photo: MRCA

Photo: MRCA

[KHTS] – Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s deputies helped reunite a missing hiker with his family Tuesday morning, about 18 hours after he was reported missing near a Towsley Canyon trail.

Brian Napoli, 24, of Santa Clarita, called his mother and friends Monday afternoon sometime before 4 p.m., according to Sheriff’s Station officials.

After letting them know that his cellphone was about to die, his friends and family contacted the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies, who activated their search and rescue team.

A deputy in a helicopter found Napoli shortly after 9:40 a.m. Monday, and lifted him from the canyon to a meeting with family and friends.

Deputies requested all available search and rescue resources Monday night to help them find a missing hiker in Towsley Canyon in Santa Clarita.

Photo: Dianne Erskine Hellrigel

Photo: Dianne Erskine Hellrigel

Volunteers with the search and rescue team scoured the area from about 4 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, well after it became too dark to see.

Officials resumed their search around 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, with aerial and horseback units, officials said.

The Towsley-Wiley Canyon Trail, which is very popular locally, is listed with a difficulty of “moderate” on HikeSantaClarita.com, a site established by city of Santa Clarita to map trails for residents.

Napoli reportedly strayed from the trail and then became lost, according to sources.

Napoli has not been heard from since approximately 4 p.m. Monday, when he contacted friends and family via his cellphone, which is now believed to be out of battery power.


Information from HikeSantaClarita.com

Length: Choice of 2 Trails – 2 miles or 6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Description: The short trail is a moderate trail, but it is easier than the longer trail since it is much shorter and there is less altitude gain. You can enter this trail from three points. The first would be the first trail that appears on the left side of the access road after the no-pay parking lot. The second entrance is in the first pay parking area. The last way to enter the trail is to proceed up the paved road and onto the dirt road that leads to the ranger’s residence. You will cross a bridge over the stream and you will see the trail entrance straight ahead. If you decide to take either of the first two trailhead options, look for a trail that goes up the hill to the right, or you will be on your way to the top of the ridge and on the longer trail. This trail is a nice 1 hour + hike and is great year-round. It does get a little hot and dusty in the summer with little shade to offer. However, in the winter is is green and the spring offers a wonderful array of wildflowers. The trails in this park are the best kept in Santa Clarita, if not the entire L.A. area due to a great team of volunteers.

The longer trail is a moderate to possibly difficult trail due to the altitude gain of 1500 feet and the length of the trail. However, there is more shade to offer the hiker, so this is a great trail for year-round use. You can enter this trail from three points. The first would be the first trail that appears on the left side of the access road after the no-pay parking lot. The second entrance is in the first pay parking area. The last way to enter the trail is to proceed up the paved road past the chain gate (you will see the ranger’s residence on the left). Continue up this road, which will become the trail. The views from the top are spectacular. You will see oil seeps, rugged mountains, beautiful plants, flowers, trees, and from the top ridge one of the best views of Santa Clarita from the SR 14 to Castaic. Take your time on this trail and use caution on some of the steep climbs. Stay on the trail, as always.

How to Get to the Trailhead: This is perhaps one of the easiest locations to find in the Santa Clarita Valley. From I-5, exit Calgrove Blvd. and proceed South on the Old Road. After the first signal, you will see the entrance to the park on your right side. You may park outside the park or in the first lot on your right for free. All other lots are $5.00 for the day. Annual permits are also available. Pay the iron ranger to avoid a ticket.

Comment On This Story


  1. Hahahaha he got lost in there hahahahahahhaha

  2. So glad this ended well.

  3. Hmmmm LOL I think I know this person

  4. Emily Alexiadis who is it ? L hahahahahahahahhahaha

  5. Anonymous says:

    Glad his safe

  6. I’m sure it wasn’t funny for the family :/

  7. I’m sure it wasn’t funny for the family :/

  8. I am so glad he was found, they are such a nice family.

  9. I am so glad he was found, they are such a nice family.

  10. No app in the world would have worked as his cell phone battery was dead. Happy Brian was found after being lost in thick over the head brush after 19 hours.

  11. Brad Taylor Brad Taylor says:

    I have a hard time believing that photo is of Towsley canyon.

  12. Kind of a jerk move to think its funny.

  13. Kind of a jerk move to think its funny.

  14. This kind of thing is terrifying for the family. My bro was lost like this for 24 hours. Is an Incredibly hard thing to start to think you might have lost someone you love. Seriously, don’t laugh. This is NOT funny. I am so glad that he is safe.

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