On June 28, 2021, Gallatin County dispatched received a call from a hiker who became separated from a party of three near the Gallatin Peak trail. The caller had made it down to the trailhead but the two other members of the party were still in the backcountry. The caller advised the two lost hikers were dressed for conditions, had food and water, and were capable of spending the night. An aircrew from Life Flight Network spotted two hikers matching the description that evening. They did not appear to be in distress and were on an established trail.
On June 29, 2021, at approximately 7:06 am, one of the two lost hikers called Gallatin County 911 dispatch requesting assistance. Searchers were able to obtain an approximate location from the 911 call. Volunteers from Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue responded from Big Sky and Gallatin Valley.
Intermittent phone contact was made with the lost hikers but a secondary location confirmation was not achieved. Life Flight Network provided a helicopter to try to locate the hikers and provide a location confirmation. The helicopter crew spotted the hikers at approximately 11:08 am on Spanish Creek Trail. A ground team departed from Spanish Creek Trailhead to locate the hikers at their last known location. The ground team made contact with the lost hikers 3.3 miles from the trailhead. They were uninjured and led back to the trailhead where they received a ride to their vehicle from a relative.
On the way down the ground team came upon a teen hiking in a group with a migraine that needed assistance to the trailhead. The ground team assessed and transported the patient to the trailhead and released them to a designated guardian.
Sheriff Dan Springer would like to remind hikers to take plenty of food, water, clothing, and a charged cell phone to call for help if trouble should arise.
Photos courtesy of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.