Lost hiker spends frigid night on monument

A 57-year-old Kansas man was found in good health Saturday afternoon after spending a stranded, snowy night in Colorado National Monument.

Mesa County Sheriff’s Department search and rescue volunteers were called out around 9 a.m. after a snow plow driver reported finding a vehicle parked at the Monument Canyon upper trailhead. The driver saw the vehicle, which appeared to have been parked overnight, around 6 a.m. and also heard a man calling out for help.

Heart medications were reportedly found in the vehicle, raising more concern for rescuers.

Search and rescue volunteers found the man around 12:15 p.m.. He reportedly declined medical attention.

The man explained he was unfamiliar with the area and “got turned around” during a hike, Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Mary Gonzales said. Gonzales said it was believed he’d set out on the hike sometime Friday afternoon.

Gonzales said she didn’t know what clothing or provisions the man had.

The monument recorded an overnight low temperature Saturday of 26 degrees, while trace amounts of snow were reported as of 8 a.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.


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