MONTEREY COUNTY (CBS SF) — Authorities have been searching since last weekend for a 55-year-old hiker who went missing in the Ventana Wildnerness in Los Padres National Forest, Monterey County sheriff’s officials said Wednesday.

Arvin Nelson, a Big Sur resident, was dropped off by a friend at China Camp near Tassajara Road and planned to hike the eastern side of the Ventana Wilderness, an area he had never visited, according to the sheriff’s office.

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Nelson is an experienced hiker and told friends that if he didn’t make contact with them by last Friday, they should report him missing, sheriff’s officials said.

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After he didn’t return, a missing person report was made on Saturday and search efforts began by sheriff’s deputies, the National Guard, the U.S. Forest Service, the California Highway Patrol and other agencies.

The search is being conducted by air and on land along the route Nelson told his friends he would be following, which includes the Pine Ridge Trail, sheriff’s officials said.

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