UPDATE: Crews still searching for missing hiker

Numerous agencies assisting park

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — At least 19 agencies are working with Olympic National Park in the ongoing search for missing hiker Laura Macke, who was reported missing Nov. 2.

None of the searchers had found any sign of her as of Wednesday, said Meagan Huff, interim spokesperson for the park.

The number of agencies involved in the search continues to grow, Huff said.

Rain, snow and below freezing temperatures have hit the region since Macke, an experienced hiker from Vermont, parked her car at the Graves Creek Trailhead and set out to walk through the park’s Enchanted Valley. But on Tuesday, conditions were good enough to allow for two helicopter searches.

Macke was traveling solo and had planned to camp at Pyrites Creek, Huff has said. Her backcountry permit was for Oct. 30-31, but she had told family members she planned to remain in the valley through Nov. 1 (Tuesday).

Macke, 35, is described as 5-feet-6-inches tall, weighing about 200 pounds, with curly, light brown hair in a bob cut. She is known to hike in a black-and-white-striped shirt, black rain jacket and maroon puffy jacket.

Her family, members of whom traveled from New Hampshire to Washington state to be closer to the search, speculate that Macke holed up in her green Nemo tent an so is difficult to spot.

Working with the park on the search are Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic Mountain Rescue, Jefferson County Search and Rescue, Clallam County Search and Rescue, Tacoma Mountain Rescue, Pierce County Search and Rescue, Mason County Search and Rescue, Pierce County German Shepherd Search Dogs, Snohomish County German Shepherd Search Dogs, Kitsap County Search and Rescue K9, Mason County Search and Rescue K9, Pierce County Explorers Search and Rescue, Kitsap County Explorers Search and Rescue, King County Search and Rescue, Quinault Indian Nation, Wildlife Enforcement Program, Washington State Search and Rescue Planning Unit, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs & Border Patrol, Air & Marine Operations, and U.S. Navy, Search & Rescue

The park also has been working closely with the National Park Service’s Investigative Services Branch (ISB), Huff said.

Officials are asking the public for information. Anyone in the area of Lake Quinault, Graves Creek or Enchanted Valley between Oct. 30 and Nov. 1 is asked to call or text the tip line at 1-888-653-0009, submit a tip online at go.nps.gov/Submit ATip, or email nps_isb@nps.gov.

Earlier story

Crews are still searching for a hiker in Olympic National Park who was reported missing on Nov. 2, even as worsening weather complicates search efforts.

More than a dozen agencies — including Jefferson and Clallam County search and rescue teams — are searching for Laura Macke in the Enchanted Valley area of the park, near Lake Quinault.

“Ms. Macke has not yet been located,” said Meagan Huff, spokesperson for Olympic National Park, in an email.

“The search thus far has utilized many ground searchers, some of whom are staying overnight in the Enchanted Valley area, (including) several dog teams (K-9 units), drones, boats, and helicopters. The search area includes the trail to Enchanted Valley, as well as beyond this trail and off-trail areas,” Huff said.

Rain and snow have made the search difficult, Huff said, particularly for aircraft, and temperatures are near freezing at Lake Quinault and below freezing in the search area.

Peninsula Daily News previously reported Macke was an experienced hiker with winter camping experience.

Officials are asking the public for any information. Anyone in the area of Lake Quinault, Graves Creek or Enchanted Valley between Oct. 30 and Nov. 1 is asked to call or text the tip line at 1-888-653-0009, submit a tip online at go.nps.gov/Submit ATip, or email nps_isb@nps.gov.

________

Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at peter.segall@sound publishing.com.

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