North Maroon Peak Rescue

Mountain Rescue Assists in Finding Lost Hiker Near North Maroon

Pitkin County, CO – On Friday, September 8, 2021, around 09:12PM, the Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center received an SOS activation from a Garmin InReach device. The SOS notification came from a reporting party seeing flashing lights up on North Maroon Peak. 

The North Maroon Trail is an 8 mile round trip hike to the summit of North Maroon Peak. According to a report from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department, Mountain Rescue Aspen was activated and attempted to contact the subject of the flashing lights with drones. After Mountain Rescue Aspen was unable to identify the source of the flashing lights, the mission was postponed until the following day. 

On September 9th, 2023, MRA received information the flashing lights were still occurring near the North Maroon Trail. 2 volunteer rescuers from Mountain Rescue Aspen entered the field to assist in locating and source of the flashing lights. Additionally, several other members of Mountain Rescue Aspen responded to the C.B. Cameron Rescue Center in order to help coordinate the rescue efforts. 

The volunteer rescuers from Mountain Rescue Aspen located the lost hiker, who had diverted off the designated route, at around 6:40AM. The hiker was uninjured and provided food and water. The hiker was able to hike out alongside the volunteers from Mountain Rescue Aspen. All rescuers were out of the field by 7:56AM on September 9, 2023.

The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen would like to remind hikers to plan their trips accordingly and to stay on the designated route when applicable. Always be aware of your surroundings and prepare for the unexpected.

Lessons Learned and Safety Tips

The incident involving the lost hiker near North Maroon Peak underscores the importance of adhering to safety measures while hiking. Here are some condensed pointers:

  • Stick to Designated Routes: Straying off marked trails can lead to dangerous situations.
  • Invest in Emergency Devices: Devices like Garmin InReach can facilitate quick rescue operations.
  • Be Time-Conscious: Plan your hike around daylight hours to avoid getting stuck in low-visibility conditions.
  • Carry Essential Supplies: Always pack sufficient food, water, and emergency gear.
  • Inform Someone of Your Plans: Share your route and expected time of return with a trusted individual.


Preparation and caution are key to enjoying safe and fulfilling outdoor experiences. Learn more with our complete mountain safety guide.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

Enjoy this Article? Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Join 4,000+ other subscribers and receive mountain news updates, route guides, gear reviews, and other articles in our twice-monthly email newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

Learn more about how we protect public lands and prevent SAR calls through education & advocacy.

Join 5K Subscribers!

Get the latest mountain news, hear about training opportunities and gear discounts, receive new resources, and learn to advocate for public lands as a Next Summit Newsletter subscriber.

Don't Miss the Latest Mountain News!

Receive an email update every other Sunday with news on the mountains of the west: rescues, wildlife, 14ers, and more.

Your privacy is important to us: We keep our subscribers’ data 100% secure.

14er Planner

Download my Colorado 14ers Planner for Your Next Summit!

Become a subscriber and download my spreadsheet planner with all 58 peaks listed in the best order to climb them.

We keep your data secure; Unsubscribe anytime at the bottom of our emails.

14er Planner

Download my Colorado 14ers Planner for Your Next Summit!

Become a newsletter subscriber and get my free spreadsheet planner with all 58 peaks in the perfect order to climb them.

We keep your data secure; Unsubscribe anytime at the bottom of our emails.