On Tuesday, May 12th, 2015, at approximately 6:12 pm, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Valley Division, and the Ft. Ellis Fire Department responded to a back country search. Two hikers had set off from the Bear Canyon Trailhead on a planned three mile loop. The hikers became disoriented and lost their way.
Despite poor cell phone reception the hikers were able to call a family member. The family member called 911. The two hikers each had a cell phone, but one cell phone’s battery died and the other was getting very low. Due to the oncoming darkness and the fact that the hikers were reported to be under dressed for the inclement weather and had no equipment to spend the night outdoors Searchers were growing concerned.
Searchers were able to narrow the probable location of the missing hikers as being on the Goose Creek Road and were searching the area on ATVs. The hikers were able to get to the Trail Creek Road on their own. They were cold but otherwise unhurt. Searchers gave them a ride back to their vehicle at the Bear Canyon Trailhead.
Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind people enjoying the back country to be prepared for rapidly changing inclement weather. Check the weather report before departing and dress and equip yourself accordingly. Carry a means of communication and call for help early if you run into trouble.