Authorities said they found about 500mg of the illegal drug in 18-year-old Nicolas Cendoya's car during their early April search for him and his companion, Kyndall Jack, 18, in Trabuco Canyon, the Orange County District Attorney's Office told ABC News.
"It was found on April 2 when deputies were looking in the car for any information that might help them find the missing hikers," district attorney's office spokeswoman Farrah Emami said.
Cendoya was charged with one felony count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine. Jack had not been charged.
ABC said Cendoya, who is to be arraigned May 22, did not respond to requests for comment.
Cendoya and Jack, 18, had set out on a hike March 31 on what was their first date, and an intensive search began after they failed to return. They were found separately a few days later.
Cendoya, who was barefoot, shirtless and dehydrated when found, said he became disoriented and hallucinated while lost, and at one point imagined tigers were stalking him, ABC said. He had suffered injuries in a fall, authorities said.