Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park rangers worked quickly the afternoon of Tuesday, August 5th, to search the area of the Warner Route for a father and two boys from New Mexico who were reported missing by family members.
The boys, aged 12 and 14, became separated from their father during a short hike. He returned to the parking lot to tell his wife and daughter that the boys were missing and then went back into the canyon to look for them. When he did not promptly return, family members reported their missing parties and a hasty search was started. After several hours of searching along the upper parts of the route and canyon rim, and with approaching darkness, two park rangers carrying overnight gear and extra food and water, hiked to the bottom of the route. The man and two boys were located around midnight at the Gunnison River. They were hungry and thirsty, but otherwise in good condition. They hiked out with park rangers on Wednesday morning.
Acting Superintendent Christine Landrum said, "I am very proud of our park rangers and of the outstanding cooperative effort involved in finding these hikers. They have proven once again that visitor and employee safety is of ultimate importance."
Hikers are reminded to be prepared for a longer hike than planned. Carry water, food, and extra clothing even if you are just going out for a short stroll. Groups should stay together and be sure to get a backcountry or wilderness use permit.