Bulletin staff report
A 20-year-old lost hiker was found safe Tuesday night after a search and rescue effort at Smith Rock State Park.
Jared Irick, of Redmond, was located in the area of Wolf Tree Trail, near the Burma Road Trail. He was wet and cold, but able to hike out on his own with friends and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue volunteers.
Irick hiked the Wolf Tree Trail to the Burma Road Trail and a short distance beyond when he became lost after dark and at one point entered the Crooked River in an attempt to cross to the other side, according to the sheriff’s office. However, he decided crossing the river was too dangerous and turned back. He eventually saw the headlamps of searchers and called out for assistance.
One of the Irick’s friends believed they heard his call for help coming from the northeast end of the park, according to the sheriff’s office.
Irick’s mother, Janet Irick, reported him overdue from his hike at about 7:31 p.m. She said he had left their Redmond home at about 3:30 p.m. to hike at the park.
After dark, Irick’s mother drove to the park and found his vehicle in the parking lot. She tried to find her son without success and then called friends, family and 911.
Jared Irick had no additional safety equipment such as a flashlight, cell phone or extra clothing, according to the sheriff’s office.
Two deputies responded to the park and met with Irick’s mother, while 18 search and rescue volunteers assisted with the search.
AirLink also assisted with an aerial search and had search and rescue volunteers on board using a hand-held thermal imaging device to find Irick via his body heat.