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Search under way for missing hiker in Sierra National Forest

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A Clovis native was reported overdue from a backpacking trip on Wednesday afternoon, July 9, according to the Fresno Bee and ABC30 Action News. Gregory Hein, 33, was expected to return on Monday from a 5-day wilderness excursion in Kings Canyon National Park. No one has seen or contacted Hein since his departure last week.

According to county sheriff's officials, Hein drove to Florence Lake (elevation 7,200 feet) on July 3, intending to hike to Mount Goddard (elevation 13,568 feet) in Kings Canyon National Park. Florence Lake is located in the John Muir Wilderness Area of the Sierra National Forest and lies along the popular John Muir Trail.

Hein's gray Honda Civic was found at the Florence Lake store, but officials found no evidence that he used the ferry to reach the trail to begin his hike or camped in the vicinity. The ferry saves hikers an approximately 4-mile hike around the west side of the lake to reach the trail.

Mountaineers and mounted searchers from the Fresno County search and rescue team began looking for Hein overnight and anticipate air support from the county sheriff's helicopter Eagle One today. Hein is an experienced hiker. He was last seen wearing a green or brown hiking shirt and matching shorts.

Anyone with information on Hein's whereabouts and those who may have seen him in the vicinity of Florence Lake should call the Fresno County Sheriff's office at (559) 600-3111.

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