Three local hikers lost while hiking in the Mill Creek Wilderness area found in good condition

A group of hikers from Prineville who got lost in the Mill Creek Wilderness area Sunday evening were found almost five hours later by a county search and rescue team.

According to Crook County Emergency Manager Michael Ryan, authorities received a report around 5:30 p.m. that Pablo Quesada, a 30-year-old Prineville man had gone into the Twin Pillars area with his girlfriend and her daughter. The group was hiking the Twin Pillars trail when they took a turn on the trail thinking it was the main trail. The group soon became disoriented and continued down the canyon in an attempt to find the trail.

After several hours they ran out of water and became overheated. The female called 911 requesting help, and Crook County Search and Rescue, Crook County Fire and Rescue and deputies were called out and began a search of the area.

At approximately 10 p.m., a deputy and a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer found the group on a ridge approximately one half-mile south of the Pillars and 300 yards east of the trail. The group was slightly dehydrated but otherwise in good condition. They had wandered approximately one mile from the trail location.

After the group was given water and rest, they were escorted back to the trail and down to Wildcat Campground where their vehicle was located. The group was then released to return home.

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