Over the weekend, three hikers were stranded at the base of Roan Plateau near Rifle, Colorado when they got stuck in too-steep terrain. Though Garfield County Search and Rescue was deployed after receiving a call about the situation at 5:33 p.m., operations were halted at nightfall, leaving the party of unprepared hikers in the backcountry overnight.

RELATED: What Causes Colorado’s Mountaineering Accidents?

The next morning, a technical rope rescue team was able to reach the hikers, helping them descend the steep terrain. The hikers were uninjured, though suffering from dehydration. When all was said and done, the operation took 21 hours, utilizing 25 responders and two helicopters.

This incident comes in the wake of a push for education amongst climbers and hikers about proper routes and proper preparation following several recent accidents in Colorado’s high country.

Roan Plateau is known for its scenic and varied terrain, home to high ridges and deep valleys with dramatic changes in elevation. This can make the terrain difficult to navigate, though it remains a popular destination amongst hikers, mountain bikers, and anglers.

RELATED: What Causes Colorado’s Mountaineering Accidents?

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