Missing Hikers in National Parks: The Importance of Preparation and Safety

Multiple hikers have been reported missing in national parks across the United States. On Monday, May 1st, park rangers in Rocky Mountain National Park were notified that Kevin Sypher was missing when a ranger encountered a group of people searching for him.[0] Upon initial investigation, park staff reported seeing a man who matched Sypher's description on Sunday afternoon walking near Copeland Lake and heading west on Wild Basin Road. An investigation and initial search efforts were initiated by park rangers.[1] While searching, a park-goer who frequently hikes in the region reported spotting a male resembling Sypher's appearance near the Wild Basin summer Trailhead on Monday.

Similarly, 25-year-old Trammell Evans has been missing since April 30th when he was dropped off at the Black Rock Campground in Joshua Tree National Park.[2] It is believed that Evans, described as a passionate hiker, is journeying solo.[2] The park initiated a search and rescue on Friday, May 5th, after he was reported as overdue from his trip.[3]

On Friday, May 5th, a hiker reported missing in Montana's Glacier National Park was found alive.[4] Matthew David Read was last heard from on Friday afternoon around the time he began his hike along the Huckleberry Lookout Trail. Read is believed to have started his hike around noon on Friday and came across a snowfield covering the trail, causing him to slip into an unnamed drainage on Huckleberry Mountain.[5] Read's vehicle was found at the trailhead of Huckleberry Trail on Sunday.[6] Rescue crews with Two Bear Air located Read on May 8th in heavily forested terrain using thermal camera technology.[7] He showed some signs of responsiveness and was rescued using a 175-foot hoist, airlifted out of the park, and transferred to Evergreen Ambulance.[8] Read was then taken to a hospital where he remains in stable condition.[7]

In the search for Kevin Sypher, park officials have suspended active search efforts, although patrols will continue in the area and further action may be taken if investigators find more information or clues. Although patrols will be conducted in the vicinity where Sypher was last seen, the authorized quest for him has been put on hold. The search may recommence if more clues are discovered, according to park officials.[9] According to the description, Sypher's height is 6 feet and 2 inches, and his weight is 180 pounds.[10] His hair is gray and his eyes are brown.[11] He was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, blue baseball hat, blue jeans, and cowboy boots.[12]

In Joshua Tree National Park, officials have urged anyone with information related to the disappearance of Trammell Evans to contact the National Park Service Investigative Services Bureau Tip Line at 888-653-0009. Those who have been in the Wild Basin area since April 30th are also urged to call.[9] Tips can also be emailed to nps_isb@nps.gov or submitted online.[13]

The search for missing hikers is a reminder of the dangers that can come with outdoor activities, especially in national parks where terrain can be unpredictable and weather conditions can be harsh. It is important for hikers to always be prepared with proper gear, supplies, and knowledge of the area they are exploring. If you plan on going on a hike, make sure to check weather conditions and trail conditions before embarking on your journey. It is also important to always let someone know where you will be and when you plan to return. By taking these precautions, you can help ensure your safety and the safety of others while enjoying the beauty of our national parks.

0. “Missing man last seen in Rocky Mountain National Park in Wild Basin area Sunday” Coloradoan, 5 May. 2023, https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2023/05/05/missing-man-last-seen-in-rocky-mountain-national-park-on-sunday/70188230007/

1. “Missing El Paso County deputy last seen at Rocky Mountain National Park” KKTV, 5 May. 2023, https://www.kktv.com/2023/05/05/missing-el-paso-county-deputy-last-seen-rocky-mountain-national-park/

2. “Trammell Evans: Search underway for missing hiker last seen in Joshua Tree National Park” KABC-TV, 8 May. 2023, https://abc7.com/missing-hiker-joshua-tree-national-park-search/13223874

3. “Missing person search initiated at Joshua Tree National Park” Imperial Valley Press, 8 May. 2023, https://www.ivpressonline.com/featured/missing-person-search-initiated-at-joshua-tree-national-park/article_91082934-ec8c-11ed-9fe9-57a2456cb0f9.html

4. “Missing 19-year-old hiker found alive, Glacier National Park confirms” Montana Right Now, 8 May. 2023, https://www.montanarightnow.com/kalispell/missing-19-year-old-hiker-found-alive-glacier-national-park-confirms/article_611e6c9e-edbb-11ed-9c2a-bfbf3d95b961.html

5. “Montana hiker, 19, found alive days after going missing in Glacier National Park: officials” Fox News, 9 May. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/us/montana-hiker-19-found-alive-days-going-missing-glacier-national-park

6. “Authorities searching for missing 19-year-old in Glacier National Park” Daily Inter Lake, 8 May. 2023, https://dailyinterlake.com/news/2023/may/08/search-efforts-underway-missing-19-year-old-glacie/

7. “Missing Teenager Found Alive in Glacier National Park” Flathead Beacon, 9 May. 2023, https://flatheadbeacon.com/2023/05/09/missing-teenager-found-alive-in-glacier-national-park/

8. “Missing 19-year-old found alive in Glacier National Park” KXLH News Helena, 9 May. 2023, https://www.kxlh.com/missing-19-year-old-found-alive-in-glacier-national-park

9. “El Paso County sheriff's deputy reported missing in Rocky Mountain National Park” Colorado Springs Gazette, 5 May. 2023, https://gazette.com/news/el-paso-county-sheriffs-eputy-reported-missing-in-rocky-mountain-national-park/article_f2f638fc-572f-5d74-aa2d-a95987177b0c.html

10. “Experienced hiker missing at Joshua Tree National Park” FOX 11 Los Angeles, 9 May. 2023, https://www.foxla.com/news/los-angeles-missing-hiker-joshua-tree-national-park

11. “El Paso County deputy missing, found in Parker last week is now missing in Rocky Mountain National Park” Denver 7 Colorado News, 5 May. 2023, https://www.denver7.com/news/local-news/el-paso-county-deputy-missing-found-in-parker-last-week-is-now-missing-in-rocky-mountain-national-park

12. “Solo Joshua Tree Hiker Missing: Last Seen At Black Rock Campground” Patch.com, 8 May. 2023, https://patch.com/california/palmdesert/solo-joshua-tree-hiker-missing-last-seen-black-rock-campground

13. “Active search suspended in Rocky Mountain National Park for man reported missing twice in one week” CBS News, 5 May. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/colorado/news/active-search-suspended-missing-man-kevin-sypher-rocky-mountain-national-park/

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