Officials Searching for Missing 35-Year-Old Hiker in Olympic National Park

by Amy Myers
Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

A search is underway in Olympic National Park for missing 35-year-old hiker, Laura Macke. According to the park’s release, Macke was reported missing at around 10 a.m. on November 2. Previously, the hiker purchased a park pass on October 31 and indicated that she would be traveling solo. Her projected route would take her to Enchanted Valley, and she stated that she would also stop at Pyrites Creek. The plan was to complete the route by November 1, but when she didn’t return, park officials launched the search.

The rescue efforts began swiftly enough, but unfortunately, inclement weather became a hazard for responding crews.

“Search and Rescue personnel hiked into the wilderness on Thursday to begin a hasty search of the area after Macke was reported missing,” Olympic National Park reported. “A US Coast Guard helicopter conducted a preliminary search but was impeded by changing weather. Additional searches will take place on Friday, November 4.”

The release also shared that Macke tends to wear a “black and white striped shirt, black rain jacket and maroon colored puffy jacket” when hiking. She is 5’6” tall, 200 pounds with curly, light brown hair in a bob cut.

Olympic National Park officials encouraged visitors that were in or around Lake Quinault, Graves Creek, or Enchanted Valley between October 30 and November 1 or have any additional information about Macke to call or text the tip line at 1-888-653-0009, submit a tip, or send an e-mail.

Kings Canyon National Park Officials Scale Back Their Search for Another Missing Hiker

Earlier this season, Kings Canyon National Park struggled with their own search for 66-year-old missing hiker Quang Trong Than of Newport Beach, California. After 10 days of searching both the national park and the neighboring Inyo National Forest, authorities had no choice but to scale back their operation to “limited continuous” mode. Than first went missing on August 21 near Split Mountain in Sequoia National Park. The search soon expanded to nearby wilderness areas.

“Searchers have utilized a broad range of search techniques, including ground search and rescue, aerial searches via helicopter and unmanned aerial systems, infrared flights, canine search teams, trail containment, and investigations,” Kings Canyon’s release revealed. “Despite these efforts, Than’s whereabouts remain unknown. Than’s itinerary was an extremely challenging one and few other hikers were in the area.”

Unfortunately, Inyo National Forest didn’t have anymore luck than Kings Canyon National Park. They managed to find Than’s gear at a water source close to the trail. However, he didn’t have the tools for a 10-night stay in the forest, let alone an overnight.

“The intended plan was to day-hike to the summit and exit the area,” the park said. “The gear that is seen in the above photo is what Than was carrying. Did not have overnight gear.”

The national park has yet to issue any updates on the search.