The Wildwood Trailhead at the outskirts of the Colorado National Monument is the starting point on your hike to Liberty Cap, and it’s not for the faint of heart. “This trail is pretty treacherous. It’s only about 3.1 miles, but it gains elevation,” said GJFD Captain Brian Lurvey.

This is where search and rescue teams sprang into action on Thursday to save a stranded hiker suffering a medical condition near the intersection of the Liberty Cap and Corkscrew trails. A 2 1/2 hour hike in the desert sun going up to 5,900 feet, and with each step it’s harder to breathe. “It’s dry and it’s hot, and you need to make sure that you’re wearing the proper equipment. You need to make sure you have things that in case you are stuck out there you can help yourself as well as much water as possible,” said Lurvey.

Experts say to protect your eyes, protect your head and your skin, and hydrate, but you might run out of water. Try and keep your cellphone battery fully charged because it might save your life. Captain Lurvey says, “We got his cell phone triangulation for his GPS to be able to get his coordinates. We sent a team of Grand Junction Fire Department personnel up to the top to locate him as well as Mesa County Search and Rescue.

Captain Lurvey says the hiker’s distress call came in at 1:10 pm. About 3 hours later and a health checkup, the man was able to return home.

The hiker and his companion would not comment on the situation.