There's a happy ending to that search for a missing hiker in Denali National Park and Preserve: John MacGregor walked out of the wilderness Wednesday afternoon with some hikers he ran into.
Word that the 54-year-old Georgia man was safe came shortly after the park had released the first briefing statement of the day in the search for Mr. MacGregor, who had failed to return from a day hike on Sunday.
According to park officials, the man walked into the Toklat Road Camp about 12:30 p.m. local time.
"He was cold and tired, but uninjured. The road camp is located at Mile 53 on the Denali Park Road. It is a seasonal housing facility for approximately 40 people," a park release stated. "The employees at the camp will warm him up, get him something to eat, and then transport him to park headquarters. He is expected to arrive there by late afternoon. Rangers working on the search will interview MacGregor to find out what took place since he left the Eielson Visitor Center Sunday morning."
Earlier Wednesday ground teams, including one accompanied by a search dog, headed into the field with overhead air support in a growing hunt for a missing day hiker.
There were approximately 70 personnel involved in the search effort at this time, the officials said.
Denali officials described the total area being searched by air and ground as encompassing approximately 100 square miles of mostly trailless, rugged terrain consisting of alpine tundra, rock outcroppings, some rivers and streams, and drainages with higher, brushy vegetation. Elevations range from 3,000 – 6,000 feet. The weather has been variable, with some rain showers, some sun, highs in the upper 50s to low 60s, and lows at night ranging from the mid-30s to mid-40s.