Searchers Locate Two Dead Washington Hikers in Mount Rainier Park

The bodies of two hikers were spotted Monday in a creek in the northwest corner of this rugged park and a park spokeswoman said both were presumed dead.

A man and a woman in their early 40s were attempting to cross Ipsut Creek on a log Monday morning when one of them fell in and the other jumped in, park spokeswoman Lee Taylor said. A third person, a man, ran from the Ipsut Creek Campground to get help.

Searchers located the bodies about noon Monday, about 200 feet downstream, but could not reach them. A swiftwater rescue team from Pierce County was brought in to help retrieve the bodies.

"Just visually looking at it, it doesn't look encouraging," Taylor said.

Both hikers who fell into the creek were from Washington state but Taylor said she did not have their names as of late Monday afternoon.

Retrieving both bodies might take until Tuesday because of difficult access, Taylor said.

The three hikers had an overnight camping permit. The survivor, who was not immediately identified, told park officials the trio had planned on hiking out on Sunday, but decided to stay one more night because of the high water level of the Carbon River.

Because of last fall's storm damage, Taylor said the trio would have had to cross the river to get to the campground.