Overdue backpacker walks out of Olympic National Park

HOODSPORT — An overdue backpacker who was reported as missing Tuesday walked out of Olympic National Park at Staircase on Wednesday, park officials said.

John Solomon, 21, of Adamstown, Md., was uninjured after a six-day trip that began at the Graves Creek trailhead in the Quinault River Valley on July 22 and ended at the Staircase Ranger Station near Lake Cushman, park spokeswoman Penny Wagner said.

Solomon was reported as missing by a family member at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Three hasty search teams composed of park staff and Olympic Mountain Rescue volunteers were deployed Wednesday to cover possible routes that Solomon had listed on his itinerary.

“He ended up walking out at Staircase today and saw all the (missing person) information posted and contacted a ranger there,” Wagner said in a Wednesday interview.

“His family’s been notified, and so they’re bringing him back to where his vehicle is. We’ll be talking with him further.”

Solomon had a wilderness permit for July 22 through Sunday. His vehicle was found at the Graves Creek trailhead.

He had planned to hike up the Quinault River to Enchanted Valley, Anderson Pass, Camp Siberia, LaCrosse Pass, Two Bear and Six Ridge in the North Fork Skokomish River Basin, Wagner said.

Solomon had an additional overnight permit for Sunday night in the Hoh Rain Forest, Wagner said.

A family member reported Solomon as missing when they did not hear from him after his scheduled exit from the park on Monday, Wagner said.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected].

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