UPDATE: It was just announced that rescuers have found the missing woman and are “walking her out now.” The woman spent the night out in the elements, but appears to be okay now.
Upper Falls. Photo by Sally King/BNM
A search is in progress for a missing hiker at Bandelier National Monument.
The monument is working with New Mexico Search and Rescue under unified command.
The search involves dog teams, technical rescue, Los Alamos Police Department, Los Alamos Fire Department and three aircraft.
On Friday, March 8, Los Alamos County dispatch received a call from a man in Texas reporting his girlfriend was missing.
The missing woman arrived at Bandelier National Monument on Thursday March 7, to hike to the Upper Falls on the Falls Trail.
The woman called her boyfriend to let him know she reached the waterfall and would return the next day.
According to her boyfriend, she returned to the Falls Trail on Friday and searchers believe she began walking towards the Rio Grande.
Due to a flash flood in 2011, the trail from the Upper Falls down to the Rio Grande was washed out and is very difficult terrain.
Crews are searching along the Rio Grande near the Falls Trail and in Bandelier’s backcountry.
The young woman had traveled to Los Alamos on Wednesday, after being inspired by a Today Show interview with New Mexico multi-millionaire and author Forrest Fenn.
Fenn’s book “The Thrill of the Chase” features a unique map and nine clues leading readers to a treasure he buried three years ago in the mountains north of Santa Fe worth a fortune.
The missing woman’s boyfriend informed dispatch that she was attempting to find the treasure. She was in the Navy for three years and may have survival training.