MT. HOOD VILLAGE, Ore. – A Portland hiker who did not return from a Saturday hike in the Wildwood Recreation Area was found alive on Thursday, Clackamas County officials said.

Nathan Mitchell, 34, was hiking alone when a powerful weather system moved into the area. His family found his car around 1 a.m. Sunday at the Wildwood Recreation Site just off Highway 26 near Welches.

Searchers spent the week looking for Mitchell in a 40-square-mile area. He was found in a drainage area near Salmon River Road in the Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness, according to Clackamas County Sgt. Brian Jensen.

Mitchell was tired, wet and cold, but otherwise in good shape.

It's a miracle. A true miracle. I'm not kidding you!" said Gay Mitchell, Nathan's mother.

Mitchell's parents after learning their son was found alive.
Mitchell's parents after learning their son was found alive.

Search and rescue teams guided Mitchell out and medics took him to a hospital for evaluation. His family said they expect Mitchell to be released from the hospital as early as Friday.

"This is a really proud, good moment for everyone involved,” said Jensen.

His family did not give up hope. Mitchell’s father said Nathan is an experienced hiker who often hikes alone.

“You teach your kids how to go out in the woods and how to appreciate nature,” said Charles Mitchell. “He hikes alone all the time. What’s unusual is for the storm to come in and for him to be unprepared for a lot of the aftermath of that.”