Over the weekend, park rangers at Rocky Mountain National Park responded to the report of a gunshot wound at Emerald Lake – a popular hiking destination.

On Sunday, a 70-year-old male from Missouri had accidentally shot himself with a handgun he was carrying in his backpack. While on a hike, the man put his backpack on a rock. At this point, the gun discharged, striking him in the leg and failing to exit.

Multiple people were present in the area at the time of the accident. Images from the scene appear to depict the incident occurring very close to Emerald Lake.

Some bystanders assisted in providing first aid until first responders arrived at the scene. At that point, the man received advanced medical treatment and was transported to the Bear Lake Trailhead where he was flown to a nearby hospital.

While firearms are not allowed at some facilities in Rocky Mountain National Park, guests are able to open carry. Guests are also able to concealed carry provided that a guest has the proper permit to do so. In Colorado, concealed carry permits issued in Missouri are honored provided the holder is at least 21 years of age and a Missouri resident.

Information about the man's current condition was not included in the official press release.

Emerald Lake Trail is a moderate-rated 3.5 mile trail near Estes Park, Colorado. It's one of the more popular hikes at Rocky Mountain National Park, bringing hikers to 10,110 feet above sea-level.

Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee manages the OutThere Colorado digital publication as the Director of Content and Operations. He also writes about outdoor recreation, travel news, and more. In his spare time, he loves to rock climb, trail run, and mountain bike.


Get OutThere

Signup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates.

(1) comment


the reckless kind

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.