Missing hiker, 71, found near Rock of Ages in Columbia Gorge

Missing Persons

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A 71-year-old hiker who went missing in the Columbia Gorge was reunited with his family on Monday morning.

Rescuers bring Joe Dean down Horsetail Falls trail after locating him on May 10, 2021. (MCSO)

Joseph Edward Dean, 71, was found after going missing near the Rock of Ages Ridge on Saturday. His wife had received a text from him saying he was lost near Horsetail Falls around 3 p.m. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said the area hasn’t been maintained and has been closed since the Eagle Creek Fire in 2017.

Thankfully, Mr. Dean was found breathing and conscious on Monday morning in the same area, according to MCSO. Officials said rescuers hiked to his location to get him to safety.

Crews then brought him down in a wheeled basket to where he was evaluated by paramedics and reunited with his family. Afterward, he was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation.

Dozens of search and rescue members from several agencies and volunteers combed a variety of backcountry trails south of Horsetail Falls over the weekend and on Monday morning.

In addition to ground searches, a drone was used to aid in aerial search efforts, as well as a plane operated by the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office.

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