Tillamook County Sheriff Office Deputies and Search and Rescue (SAR) Team members were called out Friday night August 20th at 9:00 pm for a report of two lost hikers in the area of Kings Mt. “We had two hikers that became separated, one of them was familiar with the area, the other wasn’t. We had 2 deputies and 4 volunteers initially respond,” said TCSO SAR Coordinator Deputy Billy Cloud.
“The missing hikers were 24 and 25 year old males from Hillsboro and Beaverton,” said TCSO Forest Deputy Scott Griffith. “They set out to hike the Elk Mt Trail and then Kings Mt Trail. The younger of the two got exhausted near the top of Elk Mt and they separated.”
Deputy Griffith reports that the duo’s plan was that the younger hiker would come back down the trail while the older male completed the Kings Mt portion. But, it got dark and the weather moved in with light drizzle and clouds and the 24 year old “got lost, wet, exhausted and did not have a coat, food or water.”
The 24 year old hiker called 911 just before 9:00 pm. “SAR team members hiked to him and hydrated and warmed him up and then brought him down the mountain,” said Deputy Billy Cloud. “He was not prepared at all for this hike.”
“The 25 year old completed the hike and when he didn’t find his buddy, he climbed back to the top of Elk Mt and called 911. He then hiked down on his own and waited at his truck,” said Deputy Griffith. The search operation was concluded at 3:00 am.
Deputies Cloud and Griffith want to remind everyone that the Kings Mt and Elk Mt trails are strenuous and hikers should be prepared for changing weather conditions, even in the summer. As we move into fall, it is getting darker earlier, especially in the forest, so planning becomes even more vital.
“Hikers should bring a pack with spare food, water, a light source, a fully charged cell phone and a jacket that is waterproof,” said Deputy Griffith. “Hike with a buddy and stay together and give an itinerary to a family member or friend.”
TCSO SAR is comprised of deputies and volunteer team members. If interested in becoming a volunteer, please check our website at tillamooksheriff.com.