Two Bandelier rangers spent a long night earlier this week searching for six Albuquerque-area hikers, three adults and three children ages 4-7, lost in the park.
About 3 a.m., they found the group, exhausted, dehydrated, and hungry but otherwise healthy, near Upper Crossing in Frijoles Canyon. Six members of the Los Alamos Fire Department joined them, helped the hikers walk out, and transported them to their vehicles at the Frey Trail trailhead in Juniper Campground. The search was wrapped up about 8:30 a.m.
According to a release from Bandelier, when the hikers' story was pieced together, it appeared that they had begun by hiking down the Frey Trail. At some point they hiked past the Visitor Center area, past Alcove House, and on up Frijoles Canyon.
By the time they arrived at Upper Crossing, about six miles upstream from the Visitor Center, they decided they were lost and decided to wait there for help. They built a fire and tried to make a cell phone call to 911.
With the very poor cell reception in the deep canyon, the 911 operator was only able to make out fragments: "Bandelier", "Car at Frey Trailhead" and "fire by the river." But this information was enough to get a search started.