Story at a glance

  • Kiefer was hiking when she called her husband for help, claiming she had been chased by multiple bears and had to use bear spray on the animals.
  • Shortly after speaking with her husband, she stopped responding to phone calls and text messages.
  • She was found the next day walking out of the woods.

A lone hiker in Alaska who went missing after being charged by bears was found alive Wednesday, state troopers said

Fina Kiefer, 55, was hiking on the Pioneer Ridge Trail near Butte when she called her husband for help, claiming she had been chased by multiple bears and had to use bear spray on the animals. 


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Authorities said shortly after speaking with her husband, Kiefer stopped responding to phone calls and text messages. The hiker was reported missing around 1 a.m. local time Tuesday, prompting Alaska State Troopers to respond to the trailhead to kick off a search. 

Troopers, the Alaska National Guard and teams of volunteers searched the area by land and air with no luck Tuesday and ended the search Wednesday evening due to bad weather. 

About an hour after the search stopped, however, Kiefer was spotted walking out of the woods by a volunteer who was driving about a mile from the trailhead. 

Authorities said Kiefer was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for her injuries. The severity of her injuries are unclear at this time. 


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“She was chased off the trail by bears and couldn’t find it again,” Master Sgt. Evan Budd, superintendent of the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, said Wednesday, according to Anchorage Daily News

“She had waterproof matches and was able to start a fire last night,” Budd said. 

Budd said the missing hiker could see the search helicopters, but searchers were unable to see her through the dense vegetation. 


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Published on Jun 17, 2021