Search & Rescue: Missions

How to Help / Donate Click on this link if you would like to make a donation to the Park County Search and Rescue Unit.

Missions Click on this link to read about rescue missions conducted so far in 2018.

Volunteers Click on this link to learn more about our volunteers.


The purpose of Park County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit (PCSAR) is to organize for, plan for, train for, maintain equipment for, and respond to incidents requiring search and rescue assistance as requested, directed, and authorized by the Sheriff of Park County, Wyoming.  The following is a brief synopsis of our 2020 missions.

WY11-01-20, Broken Heart Evacuation:  At 11:45 a.m. on February 8, 2020, the Park County Sheriff’s Office was advised of a 42-year-old ice climber that had fallen some 30 feet from the third pitch of the Broken Heart ice flow located off the South Fork of the Shoshone River on the Broken Heart drainage some 40 miles southwest of Cody.  The victim who was climbing with a party of 10 climbers was located two pitches up the flow and was complaining of rib and pelvic pain.  Park County Search and Rescue as well as 2 members of the Cody Regional Wilderness Medical Team immediately responded to the scene.  Five members of the Big Horn County Search and Rescue also responded to assist.  During the rescue, SAR personnel were also assisted by several recreational ice climbers who were in the area.  The patient had to be packaged and lowered by rope over two ice flow pitches before then being stretchered to a waiting ambulance.  At 8:00 p.m., the crews were finally able to get the victim off of the mountain and to the ambulance.

WY11-02-20, Beartooth Lake Rescue:  At 11:45 a.m. on February 12, 2020, the Park County Sheriff’s Office was advised of a 69-year-old male who was involved in a snowmobile accident in the Beartooth Mountains just west of Beartooth Lake.  The victim was snowmobiling with a group of 8 people when he reportedly struck a rock with his snowmobile resulting in a reported compound fracture of his left arm above the elbow.  Search and Rescue (SAR) was mobilized as was the Wilderness Medical Team (WMT) from Cody Regional Hospital.  Also activated were two members of the SAR volunteer Snow Team.  The Snow Team are a group of local snowmobilers from the Cody Snowmobile Association who have stepped up to add their snowmobiling expertise to SAR in case they are needed.  In most cases, they are closer to the emergency as they often snowmobile in the Beartooth Mountains.  At 2:15 p.m., members of the Snow Team reached the victim.  They then transported him to SAR and WMT who met them half way out at 3:35 p.m.  He was then transported to the intersection of Highways 296 and 212 to a waiting ambulance.  From there he was taken to Cody Regional Hospital at 4:12 p.m.

WY03-08-20, Green Creek Rescue:  At 7:32 p.m. on March 8, 2020 a 54 year old male hiking alone in the Green Creek/Table Mountain area, was reported as approximately four hours overdue. He was reported as not having his usual day pack and supplies, but was familiar with the area. Park County Search and Rescue responded to the hall upon being paged out at 7:32 pm. At approximately 7:46 pm, the subject walked into his residence unharmed.

WY04-06-2020, Wood River Search: On Monday, April 6, at approximately 8:30 a.m, the Park County Sheriff’s Office 911 Communications Center received a report of a 38 year old male that had left his residence the day before around noon to go horn hunting up towards the abandoned mining town of Kirwin, west of Meeteetse and had not yet returned.  The weather at the time of the call in the search area was 37 degrees and snowing heavily.​  Park County Search and Rescue (SAR) was immediately activated to begin searching the area.  SAR  activated their search aircraft and began preparations to deploy several ground units.  At the same time, a Park County Sheriff’s deputy responded up the Wood River Road to the forest boundary to begin searching for the subject’s vehicle.  At 9:50 a.m, the deputy located the victim’s vehicle buried in the snow near the old abandoned Double D Ranch. Immediately afterward, the subject was located close by unhurt, just slightly cold and tired.  He was prepared in that he had plenty of food and water and had actually built a fire the day before to keep warm and dry out.  The deputy evacuated the subject with plans to recover the vehicle at a later date.  SAR response was cancelled.

WY05-01-2020, Russell Creek Rescue: On Friday, May 1, 2020 at approximately 10:47 A.M. the Park County Sheriff’s Office 911 Communications Center received a report of an SOS inReach activation reporting a bear attack in the East Painter Creek area. A 41-year-old male was antler hunting in the area when he encountered a grizzly bear. He sustained “severe neck” injury and was attempting to walk to his four-wheeler. Park County Search and Rescue (SAR), the Park County Sheriff’s Office, Cody Regional Health Wilderness Response Team, Wyoming Game and Fish, and Guardian Flight were all immediately activated to begin searching the area for the subject.  At 11:31 A.M. a Game Warden  located the four-wheeler at the boundary of the Game and Fish and the Forest Service in the East Painter Creek Drainage. He was then able to locate the subject. By 12:01 P.M. he was loaded into the Guardian helicopter for immediate transport to St Vincent’s Hospital in Billings. Park County Search and Rescue and Cody Regional Health were canceled prior to arriving on scene.

WY05-03-2020, Hayden Arch Bridge Search: On Sunday May 3, 2020 the Park County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an overdue hiker. A 50-year-old male was known to be in the area of Hayden Arch Bridge on May 2, 2020 at around 7:30 P.M. His truck and two dogs, wandering outside of the truck, were discovered the next morning at the same location. Park County Search and Rescue was dispatched, and a ground search was begun. The search included multiple ground crews and dog teams, and the search remained active until approximately 8:40 P.M. that same evening. It was resumed the next morning, May 4th, at 7:00 A.M. and was assisted by members of the Bighorn County Search and Rescue. The search went on until approximately 9:15 P.M. that evening with personnel returning the morning of May 5th, at 7:00 A.M. again, to continue. On Tuesday May 5, 2020 at 9:46 A.M. the hiker’s body was discovered in the Heart Mountain Canal off of Lane 17 by an employee of the Irrigation District. Park County Sheriff Dispatch was contacted and immediately sent personnel to the scene. The subject was removed by Park County Sheriff’s Office and Park County Search and Rescue. He was then released to the Park County Coroner.

WY06-10-2020, Deep Lake Search:  At 4:03 P.M. on June 10th, 2020 the Park County Sheriff’s Office was contacted about a lost hiker in the area of Little Rock Creek on the trail leading to Deep Lake. Park County Search and Rescue was immediately paged and headed towards the area. The lost 46-year-old male was an experienced hiker and was prepared to stay overnight if necessary. By 4:50 P.M. he had found his group and Search and Rescue was canceled.

WY06-13-2020, Lost Creek Fire Evacuation: On June 13th, 2020 at 12:46 P.M. Park County Sheriff Dispatch received a call, from the area of 2604 North Fork Highway, that the trees were on fire. On the same day at 1:19 P.M. a report was made that two Wranglers from the Bill Cody Ranch, along with a family of five vacationers, were unable to return on the trail to the Ranch due to the fire. The Wranglers were not familiar with an alternate route out of the area. Park County Search and Rescue responded immediately. As the fire was continuing to grow in size and the safety of seven people was at risk, the difficult decision was made by Park County Search and Rescue and the US Forest Service Incident Command Staff to fly the people out with the US Forest Service Helicopter to safety. The horses were unsaddled and turned loose during the evacuation. The seven people were safely flown to the Wapiti Ranger Station and sustained no injuries.  The next day the Bill Cody Ranch organized and private party of searchers which were able to locate and guide out all  the horses safely.

WY07-07-2020, Hunter Peak Search: At 07:30 a.m., on July 7, 2020 the Park County 911 Communications Center received a report of two horseback riders that have been missing since 9:45 p.m. on July 6, 2020.  The male and female subjects, both in their 70’s, were riding on the Lewis and Clark Trail from the Clarks Fork Trailhead when they became disoriented and lost.  Their last location was 2 miles up the trail, southwest of Table Mountain across a footbridge.  The trailhead is across Highway 296 from the Hunters Peak Campground.  Search and Rescue was immediately activated and deployed two ground teams, one on horses from a nearby ranch as well as their search plane.  A Wyoming Game and Fish officer who had contact with the subjects the previous night also responded to the scene with his horses to join the search.  At 9:17 a.m., SAR was advised that both subjects had been located and were fine.  SAR response was cancelled.