RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Emergency crews on Thursday found two hikers from Vermont who spent the night lost in the rugged terrain of South Dakota’s Badlands National Park, sheriff’s officials said.
The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office said the 23- and 24-year-old women were thirsty but unharmed when crews found them about two or three miles from the campground where they had left their vehicle and camping equipment.
The sheriff’s office said it took rescuers about an hour to reach the hikers after they were spotted. Authorities haven’t released the women’s names.
The women texted a friend Wednesday night to say they had gotten lost after heading out for a hike in the late afternoon. The friend notified the authorities.
Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Patty Garland said it’s easy for hikers to lose their bearings if they wander off established trails, and she warned that there are wild animals in the area, including bison.
“There’s bunches of trees, a lot of wild grasses that are kind of difficult to walk through. The grass is up around your knees and (it’s) pretty hilly,” she said. “You definitely have to watch where you’re walking.”
Garland said emergency officials used the area for a practice search-and-rescue mission last October.