Missing 58-year-old hiker found from the Missouri Lakes to Cross Creek Trailhead | VailDaily.com

Missing 58-year-old hiker found from the Missouri Lakes to Cross Creek Trailhead

EAGLE COUNTY — At approximately 9:40 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8, the Eagle County Sheriff's Office received a report of a missing party in the Cross Creek trailhead area. A couple was separated at the end of their 3-day hiking trip from Missouri lakes headed to the Cross Creek trailhead.

On the couples final morning they departed, around 7 a.m., from West Cross Creek where they had fished and stayed the night. As they hiked back to their car at the Cross Creek trailhead, they stopped to eat lunch on the trail. The wife then requested that her husband continue ahead to “get the fish on ice” and that she would continue to follow him down.

The hike back to the car took longer than expected, the husband decided to go into town for ice then return back to the trailhead to look for his wife. When he returned she was not there. He began to hike back up the trail but it became very dark so he turned around. Unable to locate his wife, he headed back out to call for help knowing that his wife had a map and would not likely hike at night. At 5:00 a.m. the next morning the husband returned to the trailhead to look for his wife but he was still unable to locate her and called for help. 

Missouri Lakes, Colorado, backpacking

The Vail Mountain Search Rescue Group deployed a total of six teams. The first team began searching the Cross Creek trailhead area where the wife was last seen. By 3:30 p.m., five more teams were deployed to search the Martine Creek and Maloit Park areas. Around 5:00 p.m. a passerby made contact with the missing woman and used a GPS SAT phone to contact her husband and provide him with her whereabouts. A final team of six was then dropped off by helicopter, with dogs and a drone, to search the area from Treasure Vault Lake over Missouri pass where she was last seen. The helicopter was able to locate the missing party, confirm her location and ground crews located her and they hiked out. 

The missing party, a 58 year old female, had stopped to rest during the longer than expected return hike on their last day, got turned around, and began hiking in the wrong direction. The missing women was reunited with her family in good health. A total of 16 members of VMR (14 volunteers and 2 dogs) were involved in the mission.

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Community Effort

The Eagle County Sheriff's Office wants to thank everyone for their help during this search and rescue mission as nearly 75 people, who were traveling through the area, were contacted by law enforcement and crew members. We would also like to remind everyone that it is extremely important to hike with a partner and never separate from your group when hiking in the backcountry. Vail Mountain Rescue Group strongly encourages that backcountry travelers avoid leaving the established trail when hiking and to always be prepared to spend several hours and possibly a night outdoors while awaiting a rescue. Be sure to have adequate food, water, clothing, and a fully charged cell phone with backup battery to get you through a night in the backcountry. 

Vail Mountain Rescue Group is an elite team of volunteers that depend on donations and fundraising efforts to fund their services that often include helicopter rescues. Their search and rescue efforts help to locate lost, stranded, injured and missing parties from the Eagle County back country on a regular basis. We would like to thank the Vail Mountain Rescue Group and our partner agencies that help to respond to incidents with equipment and volunteers. These volunteer teams give endless time and dedication to assist fellow community members and visitors in their times of need. They are always "on call and ready to respond to any emergency 24/7, 365 days a year". (VMSRG)

Need help in the backcountry?

Should you experience an emergency in the backcountry of Eagle County, do not hesitate to call or text 911 and please note that Vail Mountain Rescue Group never charges subjects for these missions.