Marion Lake

A hiking trail along Marion Lake with Three-Fingered Jack towering over the Linn County body of water.

Mark Ylen Mid-Valley Media

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team saved a 16-year-old girl who became lost in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness near Marion Lake on Saturday night and was suffering from mild hypothermia due to near freezing temperatures.

Four team members hiked about seven miles in the dark and found the hiker at 4:19 a.m. on Sunday. They provided her with first aid, food, liquids and dry clothing and built a warming fire to prepare her for the hike out after daybreak.

The first report of the missing hiker came at 8:27 p.m. on Saturday. A friend called 911 and said that the girl was lost in the wilderness, and that the girl’s parents did not know she had gone to hike alone to Marion Lake.

At 8:35 p.m., the hiker herself called 911 and reported that she had taken a wrong turn on a trail, became lost and was not prepared for the weather.

The overnight temperature was near freezing, with rain and snow predicted above the 5,500-foot elevation level. Marion Lake is at roughly 4,300 feet in elevation.

Search and Rescue Team members responded to the Pine Ridge Trailhead and located the teen’s vehicle.

From there, they hiked to the Eight Lakes Basin area, and they found the girl on the Blue Lake Trail, about three miles south of Marion Lake.

At about 10:46 a.m. on Sunday, Search and Rescue Team members, including members of the Linn County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Posse, were able to escort the female to the Marion Lake Trailhead where she was later reunited with her mother.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police assisted with the search and rescue efforts.

Kyle Odegard can be reached at, 541-812-6077 or via Twitter @KyleOdegard.


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