On Monday, September 7th, at 3 pm, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded to a report of four individuals stranded at the Mystic Lake Cabin in the Custer Gallatin National Forest. Two mountain bikers had planned an overnight mountain bike trip from Hyalite Canyon to Sourdough Canyon. The weather took an abrupt turn, dropping from a high of 87 degrees on September 6th to a high of 58 degrees on September 7th and higher elevations began to see snow in the late afternoon.
The mountain bikers came upon a separate party of three hikers near the area of Mystic Lake Cabin. The hikers were also unprepared for such a drastic shift in weather. The group decided to stay put and make a fire, while one of the bicyclists rode to the Sourdough trailhead to call for help.
Search and Rescue volunteers and the Forest Service District Ranger reached the stranded party by vehicle. SAR volunteers successfully retrieved the party and transported them to the Sourdough trailhead where AMR Paramedics assessed their condition. All members were medically cleared and allowed to return home.
Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind everyone of the potential for rapidly changing weather conditions in Gallatin County as fall arrives. Please be sure to wear appropriate clothing and footwear, pack necessary provisions, and be prepared to stay out longer than expected when venturing out into our beautiful backcountry.
Mystic Lake Cabin was built in 1930 and is currently open year-round. It provides access to a variety of recreational activities, including fishing, hunting, and exploration of numerous trails. The cabin is located in a non-motorized area. Guests must be prepared to hike, horseback ride, or mountain bike to get there in the summer, and winter access is by cross-country skis or snowshoes. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety and must bring several of their own amenities.
The cabin is tucked into a stand of pines near the southeastern shore of Mystic Lake, at an elevation of about 6,400 feet. The landscape surrounding Mystic Lake includes meadows that fill with wildflowers in the summer, as well as the evergreen forest and the peaks of the Gallatin Range. Visitors may spot one of the resident black or grizzly bears, moose, elk, or mule deer. Several bird species also inhabit the area.