News Release

Search Underway for Missing Hiker

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Date: October 13, 2020
Contact: Kevin Bacher, Public Information Officer, 360-569-6567
Contact: Public Tip Line, 360-569-6684 (NOTE: this number has changed since earlier communications)

A search is underway for a missing hiker in the northwest corner of Mount Rainier National Park. Sam Dubal, 33, of Seattle, was last known to be hiking the Mother Mountain Loop out of the Mowich Lake Trailhead, departing on Friday, October 9 and due out on Saturday, October 10. 

Dubal was reported missing mid-day yesterday, Monday, October 12. Rangers at the National Park sent several teams out during the afternoon, two of which continued searching overnight, in coordination with the Washington State Emergency Operations Center. In addition, an Air Force helicopter with Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR), from the 36th Rescue Squadron out of Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, spent 2½ hours last night searching by air, under the direction of the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center.

The search has continued on the ground today, despite heavy rain in the search area, with six search teams including 19 National Park Service rangers and six Mountain Rescue Association volunteers from the Olympic, Everett, and Central Washington units. 

The Park has set up a tip line at (360) 569-6684 for anyone who was hiking in the Mowich Lake area over the past few days and may have seen Mr. Dubal. He is 5 foot 9 inches tall, 155 pounds, with black hair and a short black beard, and may have been wearing a blue jacket. 

Rangers are coordinating the search with state and local resources, who are providing highly skilled rescuers trained to search in hazardous conditions. Additional searchers are not needed at this time. 

The National Park Service encourages hikers to carry the “10 Essentials,” hike with a partner, and leave a detailed itinerary with family or friends. River crossings can be dangerous or impassible this time of year, and bridges may be washed out without notice. Contact a park Wilderness Information Center and visit the park’s website,, for more information about hiking safety in Mount Rainier National Park. 

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Last updated: October 13, 2020

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