UPDATE: Hiker found; search to find hiker missing in Pine Valley Wilderness ends

A hiker is missing in the rugged Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Wikipedia, St. George News

UPDATE: Washington County Search and Rescue Liaison Darrel Cashin has confirmed that the missing hiker was located on the Oak Grove side of the mountain at 7:40 p.m. Monday evening and he is safe.

“(He) got lost on top, walked around for a day or so, finally found a trail and walked out,” Cashin said in a text message. “The district ranger picked him up. (He’s) just tired, but in good health.”

ST. GEORGE – Search and rescue teams are looking for a hiker missing in the rugged Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness since Friday.

The missing man is a Forest Service employee who works in Fredonia, Arizona, and was last seen Friday when he left to hike in the Pine Valley area.

The man did not show up for work Monday morning, Washington County Search and Rescue Liaison Darrel Cashin said. The man’s car was later located at the Oak Grove campground.

Four search and rescue teams are hiking four different trails in the mountainous area. Another team was dropped off on top of the mountain in an area northeast of Gardner Peak near the location of the last known ping of the man’s cell phone. A Life Flight helicopter is searching from the air, Cashin said.

However, cell phone pings are not nearly as accurate as the GPS coordinates which can be taken from a 911 call, Cashin said.

“I’ve seen GPS errors from 7 meters to 4,000 meters,” he said. “We’re talking miles.”

Crews are searching visually and from the air, looking for a fire, clothing, a distress signal or any sign of the missing man, who is a marathon runner and is in “really good shape,” Cashin said.

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