Arkansas Truck Requires 132-Hour Rescue After Driver Misread Sign and Got Stuck on 14,000ft Colorado Hiking Trail

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truck stuck, colorado 14er,
Wouldn’t happen with a Subaru. Credit: Colorado 4×4 Rescue and Recovery

An ill-fated decision to drive a pickup truck up the Decalibron Loop, one of Colorado’s most contentious hiking trails, led to a significant rescue operation that involved multiple agencies, 132-man-hours, and nearly 1,500 miles (2,414.02 km) driven by volunteers.

Colorado 4×4 Rescue and Recovery received the call on August 27th, 2023, about the stranded GMC Canyon, located at nearly 14,000 feet (4,267.2 m) on Mt. Lincoln. The driver, who apparently misread signage, hiked down to Alma, CO, after his rear wheel slid off the trail. The team scheduled the rescue mission for August 30 in coordination with the USFS and Park County Sheriff’s Office.

truck stuck, colorado 14er,
Truck stuck at 14,000 feet. Credit: Colorado 4×4 Rescue and Recovery

Early Tuesday, September 5th, 2023, an eight-member team attempted to recover the truck, hindered by narrow trails, high elevation, and challenging anchor points. After a day of fruitless efforts that involved failed attempts at using a “pendulum pull” technique, the team decided to regroup for another day.

However, the truck owner took matters into his own hands, successfully contracting a commercial tow company that recovered the vehicle on September 1 after it spent six days stranded on the trail.


The Decalibron Loop consists of four 14ers, Mt Democrat, Mt Cameron, Mt Lincoln and Mt Bross. It’s the one spot in Colorado you can climb four 14ers in a single day. The mountains all share a single ridge line, making it a simple loop trail to reach them all. The Decalibron Loop has been a flash point in recent years over liability and land-use issues. It reopened to hikers in July after a months-long closure due to these concerns. The loop crosses private property laden with old mining shafts, further complicating the situation. The owners of Mt Democrat & Mt Lincoln require hikers to sign a liability waiver and agree not to sue if you are injured while climbing the peaks.

DeCaLiBron, the location of the stuck truck.

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