Trail crews rescued 12 lost hikers Monday afternoon, March 14, who were stranded on a trail near Multnomah Falls.
Multnomah County Sheriff's Office deputies were dispatched to the area at 3:09 p.m. upon reports one of the hikers slipping or falling down a snow embankment.
Deputies received location data from one of the hiker's cell phones that placed them approximately 1.2 miles up the Multnomah Falls Trail.
MCSO Green Hornet Trail Team, along with Corbett Fire and AMR, also responded. Two members of the team reached the first hiker, 21-year-old Neil Desai, who had slipped down the snow embankment into a small creek. Desai was uninjured and able to walk out on his own.
The remaining 11 hikers were still on the opposite side of the snow hazard. Corbett Fire personnel set up a rope system across the snow, allowing them to safely walk each hiker across the hazard. At around 5:40 p.m., all the hikers and rescue personnel descended the trail to the Multnomah Falls Lodge parking lot.
The 12 hikers were from Texas and had traveled to Oregon during spring break. They decided to hike from Wahkeena to Multnomah Falls. Everyone was between 20 and 21 years old, and none were injured.
The Multnomah Conty Sheriff's Office wants to remind anyone planning to hike in the Columbia River Gorge and other scenic areas to research the route.
Ensure you have the proper equipment you need when you embark on a hike including a map, compass, flashlight, extra food and water, fire starter, extra clothing, a knife, first aid kit, GPS and a cell phone with an extra battery. Remaining in one place and staying on the trail will assist searchers as they work to locate where you are and help bring you down from the trail safely.