Search Continues for Missing Hiker in San Juan National Forest
The search continues for a hiker who was last seen on July 16th in the San Juan National Forest in Colorado. Daniel Lamthach, 22, of Salt Lake City, Utah, was reported missing by a friend on Thursday, July 21st when he did not return from a hike. Search and Rescue operations began on July 22nd. Officials suspect that Lamthatch was heading towards the Trinity Peaks area. His vehicle was found in the Molas Lake Parking area. San Juan County Office of Emergency Management officials said he seemed unprepared to spend an extended time in the wilderness. Lamthatch’s phone was found by hikers on July 18th on the Elk Creek Trail, a section of the Colorado Trail near the CT/CDT junction.
Officials are conducting both ground and aerial searches. Rescuers have had to pause their search several times due to nightfall or weather. Search crews have been staying in the wilderness overnight since Monday, July 25th.
Officials also remind hikers always to take proper precautions when in the backcountry. Bring emergency gear, including a satellite communicator or PLB, and always communicate your plans and expected return to others. Additionally, officials caution against individuals attempting search operations. “Taking on an independent search operation can cause more issues than the good that is intended, especially when it is in an unknown wilderness area to the group. Please allow the local emergency teams to manage such operations as they have the skill sets to do so,” stated Steve Lowrance, San Juan County Undersheriff.
A Timeline of Events
According to the San Juan County Office of Emergency Management Facebook page, here is a timeline of events:
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.