Search Under Way in Rocky Mountain National Park for Fort Collins Couple

Terry and Marion Jones. Photo courtesy of the family.

A search is under way for a Fort Collins, Colorado, couple that failed to return Sunday from an overnight backcountry trip in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Officials say 56-year-old Terry Jones and his 49-year-old wife, Marion, were dropped off Saturday afternoon at the Chapin Pass Trailhead located along the Fall River Road in the northern portion of the park. They had a backcountry permit to stay at the Flatiron backcountry campsite located near Hague Creek that night.

On Sunday, September 2, their plan was to hike north via the Cache la Poudre River Trail and Big South Trail out to the Big South Trailhead. Last night their car was located outside of the park at the Big South Trailhead on Highway 14. Their family has not heard from them since September 1.

Park rangers are working on containment and confinement of the area near the Chapin Pass Trailhead as well as the Mummy Pass Trail leading in from Corral Creek. Other backcountry campers, who were staying at sites in the same area Saturday night, are being contacted to see whether the Jones made it to the Flatiron backcountry campsite to narrow down a point last seen for the couple.

Officials say the couple does not have any pre-existing medical conditions and are experienced backpackers with gear and equipment to spend the night.

Comments

Finally -- a happy ending.

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Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Missing Couple Found After Lengthy Search

A major, inter-agency search for a couple who failed to return from a hiking trip in the park last weekend came to a happy conclusion yesterday morning when they were spotted by a Civil Air Patrol searcher who’d seen smoke coming from a cliff on the other side of the Big South trailhead. Terry Jones, 56, and Marion Jones, 49, were found to be tired but in good health and able to walk out of the area with the assistance of SAR personnel. The Jones’ were dropped off at the Chapin Pass trailhead on Fall River Road in the northern portion of the park last Saturday. They had a backcountry permit to stay at the Flatiron backcountry campsite near Hague Creek that night. On Sunday, their plan was to hike north via the Cache la Poudre River trail and Big South trail out to the Big South trailhead, but did not show up as planned. A search was begun earlier in the week. The Jones’ told authorities that they took a wrong turn and decided to stay put at the location where they were found once they determined that they were lost. Their greatest concern was that they were unable to notify their family and friends to let them know they were okay. They said that they survived on mushrooms and berries after using everything in their backpacks.
[Submitted by Kyle Patterson, Rocky Mountain NP; Kathy Messick, Larimer County Sheriff's Office]