Hiker missing after reported bear encounter on Palmer-area trail found alive

The Pioneer Ridge Trail (Abbey Collins/Alaska Public Media)

A hiker who went missing early Tuesday morning on a trail near Palmer has been found alive, according to a report from Alaska State Troopers.

Troopers say a volunteer from the search and rescue team was leaving the area around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, when 55-year-old Palmer resident Fina Kiefer walked out of the woods about a mile from the Pioneer Ridge trailhead on Knik River Road.

AST was notified around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday that a hiker, later identified as Kiefer, needed help on the Pioneer Ridge Trail.

Troopers reported Kiefer was in contact with her husband, and told him she had been charged by multiple bears. Shortly after that, Kiefer stopped responding to phone calls and messages.

AST says Kiefer is injured and was transported to a hospital for evaluation. The extent of her injuries is unclear.

Search efforts had ended for the day about an hour before Kiefer was found, due to deteriorating weather.

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