GarCo Search and Rescue busy as families find themselves stranded

Three recent searches by Garfield County Search and Rescue ended successfully, but authorities are using them as reminders that people who intend to take vehicles off main routes in Colorado’s remote areas should notify others of their plans and bring along appropriate gear for unexpected conditions, such as spending nights in a vehicle.

From the evening of June 12 and the morning of June 13, Search and Rescue members participated in three searches for families from the Front Range and Grand Junction area. All were stranded because of snow and muddy road conditions, according to a news release from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department.

The longest search started June 12 when authorities in Garfield County received a call that a Denver family of four had gone four-wheeling north of Rifle Gap State Park but had not checked in.

A search of area campgrounds yielded nothing.

At 9:47 a.m. on June 13, Search and Rescue personnel found the family, the release said.

According to family accounts given to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department, their four-wheel drive vehicle got stuck in a snowdrift east of Cow Lake on the afternoon of June 12 after they told Denver friends where they were headed. The family spent the night in the vehicle. At 7 a.m. June 13, the family decided to walk to Glenwood Springs for help.

About 90 minutes after the family started walking, a Silt couple found them and helped get the vehicle out of the snow and the family safely back to Garfield County Road 245, the release said.

At about the same time as the family from Denver was found June 13, Search and Rescue received notification that a Grand Junction family of five was stranded in the Saddle Park area after spending the night in a cabin because their vehicle also got stuck in mud.

The third incident also happened June 13 when Search and Rescue went to the Coffee Pot area northeast of Glenwood Springs to try and find two people from the Front Range stranded with their vehicle.

The pair’s two-wheel drive vehicle was stuck in mud on U.S. Forest Service Road 620 by the Deep Creek overlook. They, too, spent the night in the vehicle and were fine. They were found at 10 a.m. June 13, the release said.


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