A group of hikers called 911 after becoming lost on a trail above Wahkeena Falls. Responding Multnomah County Sheriff's Office deputies were able to make contact with the hikers via their cell phone and establish an approximate location of the group.
The group was hiking from Wahkeena Falls to Multnomah Falls Thursday and as they descended to the Multnomah Falls trail learned the bridge was closed. The group started back up the trail but became turned around on the trail as it got dark and the group did not have a flashlight with them. The deputy instructed the group to stop on the trail where they were at after talking with them. The group of four adult hikers was uninjured, dressed somewhat for the weather, but cold and didn't have supplies.
At approximately 11:15 p.m. MCSO SAR teams reached the trailhead with the lost hikers. The team and hikers were transported back to the command post at Multnomah Falls. The hikers were in good spirits and happy to be off the trail. They thanked the MCSO Search and Rescue teams for their help and assistance in locating them and escorting them down safely. In this incident the hikers stayed where they were at when asked to do so by MCSO deputies. This helped searchers locate them quickly when they reached the area they were b believed to be in. The four hikers are identified as Amanda Kidman, Age 24 of Portland, OR; Anna Marie Wood, Age 25; Oregon City, OR; Hilary Ruiz, Age 24 and Kelly Kolonay, Age 23 of Hillsboro, OR.
When asked about their hike, the group said they began their hike about 11:30 a.m. in the morning and walked on the trails from Wahkeena Falls over to Multnomah Falls. As they hiked down the Multnomah Falls trail, they were informed the bridge was closed. Two of them hiked down to the closure point, than hiked back up the trail to the others. As they hiked back on the trail, they ended up walking down a trail that ended in a washout. They reversed course back down the trail, but as it got dark they couldn't see to continue as they did not have a flashlight other than a flashlight app on one of their phones. At that point they stopped and called for help. MCSO SAR teams located the group about 3/4 of a mile down Perdition Trail a closed trail off of Trail 441. Perdition Trail is a closed, non-maintained trail.
The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office would like to remind anyone contemplating a hike or outing on trails within the Columbia Gorge and other scenic areas to research their route prior to attempting a hike. Closures and washouts can occur and information on the trail conditions can be found through various Columbia Gorge trail and hiking websites. Be prepared when you depart for a hike and ensure you are carrying the proper equipment when setting out including a map, compass, flashlight, extra food and water, extra clothing, fire starter, knife, first aid kit and signaling device. A GPS and a cell phone with extra battery. Let someone know your plan and when you expect to return so someone knows if you are overdue. During the winter low temperatures in the higher elevations can bring snow and hail. Be prepared for bad weather. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office wants everyone to have a safe and enjoyable visit or hike in the Columbia Gorge scenic areas.
Photo of rock damage to Multnomah Falls Bridge: KATU