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On July 25, 2013 at 6:26 PM the Gallatin County Dispatch Center received a report of two missing hikers in the area of Moonlight Basin and the Cedar Lake Trail.  The missing hikers were a part of a group of 27 people that had been hiking in the area that day.  The caller was with the group also and was a member of the Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue.  The missing hikers were healthy and in good shape and avid hikers, but were unfamiliar with the area and were not equipped to spend the night in the woods.  Rescuers from Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Big Sky section responded to the scene.  Searchers started the search at 8:20 PM by foot.  Deputies from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office checked other trailheads that the couple may have ended up at had they taken a wrong trail.  Searchers located the missing hikers near their last known location at 9:03 PM.  They were tired but uninjured.  The male and female hikers had taken a wrong fork in a trail intersection and had hiked in the wrong direction for a time.  They realized their mistake and returned to the location they had made the wrong turn.  Since neither hiker was totally certain of the correct direction out, they made a campfire and made preparations to spend the night.  Searchers used a whistle to locate the couple and one of the hikers had a whistle with her to answer back, which greatly assisted searchers in locating them.  The two hikers were led out by the Rescue team without incident.

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