Missing Hiker Found at National Park

Search and rescue operation in Big Bend National Park
Search and rescue operation in Big Bend National Park. | Image by Big Bend National Park/Facebook

A Texas woman was found alive last Friday after being lost in Big Bend National Park for more than a week.

The National Park Service (NPS) announced on November 16 that park rangers, border patrol agents, Texas game wardens, the Los Diablos fire crew, and others had been searching for 25-year-old Christy Perry in Big Bend National Park.

Perry had reportedly obtained a rental car in Midland on November 9 and drove to the national park, but she did not show up for her camping reservation at the Chisos Basin campground that evening.

Search teams began looking for the woman on November 15 after her family reported she had not returned home from her trip to Big Bend National Park. Perry’s rental vehicle was discovered at the trailhead for the Lost Mine Trail on Wednesday, leading rescuers to focus on that area.

The trail, located in the Chisos Mountain range near the center of Big Bend National Park, is 4.8 miles long round trip and ascends more than 1,000 feet in elevation in a heavily wooded area. The Lone Star Travel Guide lists the trail difficulty as “moderate.”

Two helicopters from the Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Customs and Border Production, as well as a National Park Service airplane, were used in the search.

Around 9:30 a.m. on November 17, searchers located Perry about a quarter of a mile below the trail’s summit. She was conscious and able to speak. The rescue team assisted her to the summit, where she then boarded a helicopter and was transported to a hospital in Odessa for observation.

“We are pleased to report a successful search and rescue operation in Big Bend National Park,” park officials posted to Facebook. “Our highly skilled team, in collaboration with outside law enforcement, has located and safely rescued the missing hiker.”

The Lost Mine Trail was closed to the public during the search and rescue mission but has since been reopened.

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