Hiker home safely after getting lost

A hiker who lost his way on Mount McLoughlin Sunday was guided back down the mountain by a search and rescue helicopter.

Michael Hughes, 21, who recently moved to Medford from San Jose, Calif., had spent the day hiking up Mount McLoughlin, but became disoriented coming down, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters said. Hughes called 9-1-1 on his cell phone at about 6:20 p.m. to ask for help.

Authorities stayed in touch with him by phone while a helicopter searched. Via the phone conversation, deputies were able to direct the helicopter to where Hughes was, then the helicopter pilot was able to relay directions to Hughes. He hiked to a waiting search team near mile 32 of Highway 140 and members drove him back to his parked car just before 9 p.m., the sheriff said.

— Anita Burke

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