The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says the students from the Tufts University Mountain Club were reported lost in the White Mountain National Forest Dry River Wilderness area around 6 p.m. Friday.
The hikers had climbed Mount Pierce earlier in the day and intended to return to an Appalachian Mountain Club center in the town of Carroll. However, they took the wrong trail and wound up in an area that had been heavily damaged by Tropical Storm Irene.
Conservation officers located the hikers using global positioning information and snowshoes to get over 4 feet of snowpack. The rescue operation ended successfully at 5 a.m. Saturday.