5.16.21 Middle Cottonwood Lost Hiker

On Sunday, May 16th at approximately 10:07 pm, Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in Bozeman responded to a request for assistance from a lost hiker near Saddle Peak. The hiker was trying to return to Middle Cottonwood trailhead but became disoriented due to darkness and snow covering the trail. The hiker called 911 then remained stationary to aid in the rescue.

Three volunteer teams departed from Middle Cottonwood and Truman Gulch on foot. A Life Flight Network helicopter crew was requested to assist in the operation.  The helicopter crew launched quickly and spotted the hiker in the area of the plotted 911 coordinates.

Volunteers located the hiker at approximately 3:08 am and assessed for medical needs. The hiker was escorted to Truman Gulch because the terrain was less demanding for navigation on foot.  All parties arrived safely and the hiker was transported to Middle Cottonwood to their parked vehicle.

Sheriff Springer would like to remind the public that when you find yourself in need of assistance call sooner, rather than later, and remain stationary to aid in your rescue.  A charged cell phone battery can be maintained by keeping it in airplane mode and is an invaluable rescue tool. Sheriff Springer would also like to recognize our selfless volunteers who worked throughout the night to bring one of our citizen’s home safely.

Photos courtesy of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

4.28.21 Sourdough Canyon Injured Hiker

On April 28th at 4pm, Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue was requested at the Sourdough Trail for a report of a hiker with traumatic injuries. The individual was hiking off trail when they fell on a downed tree with exposed broken limbs.

Ground teams and a helicopter team entered the area to search for the hiker. The patient was located a few miles in and a quarter mile off the main trail. The hiker complained of intense pain and had noticeable injury in the rib area. Given the seriousness of the injuries, the patient was short hauled out via helicopter to a waiting ambulance.

Sheriff Springer would like to remind all outdoor enthusiasts that a simple slip in the woods could result in a major injury.  Some preparation, including communication devices and a hiking partner can minimize response time for rescuers. He would also like to extend his appreciation for all of the search and rescue volunteers who volunteer to help those in need.


4.17.21 Fan Mountain Rescue

On April 17, 2021, Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue was called to
Fan Mountain for an injured skier. The injured party was backcountry skiing
when they fell and slid several hundred feet down the slope. The slide
resulted in a knee injury which prevented their self-rescue.

Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in Big Sky coordinated with Big Sky Ski Patrol and Lifeflight Medical Helicopter to access the patient and fly the injured party off the mountain to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital.

4.16.21 M Trail Rescue

On April 16th at  5:47pm Gallatin County 911 received a call of a hiker who had fallen approximately half way up the steep way of the M trail and suffered a possible broken ankle. The hiker was in severe pain and unable to bear any weight on the injury.  Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, and AMR responded.  The hiker was transported down to the parking lot on a one wheeled litter and then transferred to AMR.  AMR transported the patient to Bozeman Health for further evaluation.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

4.15.21 Bakers Hole Area Bear Attack

On Thursday April 15, 2021 at approximately 3:42 pm, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Forest Service, West Yellowstone Police Department & Hebgen Basin Fire & EMS responded to a report of a grizzly bear attack on an individual near Bakers Hole Campground area.  Law Enforcement teams were able to locate the injured party after approximately 50 minutes of off-trail searching.  The individual had sustained significant scalp and facial injuries.

Gallatin County Sheriff Search & Rescue were requested to respond on snowmobile with a rescue toboggan to an area approximately 70 yards away.  The patient was able to be transported by volunteers to the toboggan, then taken by snowmobile to a nearby ambulance. Hebgen Basin Fire Department EMS crews then transported the patient to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for further medical treatment.

Now is the time to remember to be conscientious in the backcountry as the bears are coming out of hibernation and looking for food sources.

The Forest Service and Fish Wildlife and Parks are investigating the incident.


4.13.21 Sourdough Canyon Search

On April 13, 2021 at approximately 5:13 pm, Gallatin County Dispatch received a 911 call for a lost hiker on Sourdough Canyon Trail. The hiker had gone out on Sourdough Canyon Trail earlier in the day, and after a few wrong turns, had lost sight of the trail because it was snow covered. The hiker became disoriented and lost but was able to call 911.

Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue team members responded to the trailhead with ATV’s, side by sides, ground crews, search dog teams, and drones.  A Lifeflight helicopter crew assisted in the search before weather conditions deteriorated.  As darkness approached, and the drones were just about to turn back, they located a heat signature with their thermal camera.  Based on the information provided by the drone teams, 911 call, and a dog team following tracks, ground teams safely located the hiker nearing midnight.

After assessing for injuries on site, the hiker was escorted back to the trailhead where they were medically cleared by AMR personnel.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

4.11.21 Rendezvous Ski Trail Rescue

On Sunday, April 11, 2021 at approximately 3:49 pm, the West Yellowstone Police Department dispatch center received a 911 call from an injured skier on the Rendezvous Ski Trail system just south of West Yellowstone. The skier had sustained a knee injury after a fall and was unable to ski out on their own.

Volunteers from Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone responded the scene on a tracked four wheeler and transported the skier safely back to town. The skier opted to travel back to Bozeman with companions for a medical evaluation.

3.30.21 M Trail Rescue

On Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at approximately 5:53 pm, Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue responded to a request for assistance from a hiker who had injured their ankle while descending the M Trail. The hiker sustained a severe injury and could not make it to the trailhead.

Volunteers responded and helped the hiker down the steep and unstable terrain using a one wheel litter. American Medical Response stabilized the patient and administered medication.  AMR subsequently transported the hiker to Bozeman Health Deaconess for further evaluation and treatment.

Photo courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

3.29 Hebgen Lake Kite Skier Rescue

On Monday March 29, 2021 at approximately 12:30 am, Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone responded to a request for assistance from a kite skier on the frozen Hebgen Lake. The individual had taken a hard fall while kite skiing and suffered a significant hip and back injury.

Volunteers responded on foot, and on snowmobiles with a rescue toboggan, successfully packaging and transporting the injured skier off the lake to an awaiting ambulance. The patient was transported by the Hebgen Basin Fire Department EMS crew to a medical helicopter provided by Air Methods, who then transported to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls for level one trauma care.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

3.14.21 Flathead Pass Rescue


On Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 10:41 pm, Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue responded to a request for assistance from two individuals whose side by side ATV got stuck in the area of Flathead Pass. The two individuals were cold and needed help getting out.

Volunteers responded and helped the stuck individuals. All parties made it safely out and a Sheriff’s Chaplain assisted with getting the two individuals safely to their residence.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.