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Missing hiker found safe after failing to show up at Big Bend camp

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, Texas — The massive search ended Friday for a Houston-area woman who was reported missing when she failed to show up for her campsite reservation at Big Bend National Park , according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Christy Perry, 25, was rescued Friday morning about a quarter mile below the summit of the Lost Mine Trail. She was awake and talking, according to the park service.

Video sent by a KHOU 11 viewer showed Perry able to walk to an ambulance with the help of rescuers after the helicopter carrying her landed. She was transferred to a hospital in Odessa.

Perry’s rental car was collected on November 8. This vehicle was last seen at the Lost Mine Trail on November 9, but Perry never made it to her campsite reservation on the trail.

Days passed and after Perry’s family realized she never returned from her trip, they reported her missing.

On November 15, search teams from the National Park Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas DPS, U.S. Border Patrol and local first responders began searching for Perry in the rugged area around the trail and in the canyons and surrounding ridges. They also used helicopters and K-9s in the search.

Two days later, she was found alive and talking.

“We are pleased to announce a successful search and rescue operation in Big Bend National Park. Our highly trained team, working with outside law enforcement, located and safely rescued the missing hiker. She is currently under medical care and is being transported to a hospital in Odessa, Texas,” the National Park Service said. “We thank all parties involved, including our dedicated search and rescue team, partner law enforcement agencies and the local community for their unwavering support throughout the operation. Our primary focus remains safety and the well-being of those who visit and explore Big Bend National Park.”

The National Park Service said Perry had no food and quickly ran out of water. The agency said she managed to stay hydrated by drinking rainwater.

“We were all very concerned about a mountain lion attack, not so much a bear, but a mountain lion,” said Jennifer McCann, a hiking guide and manager of the Far Flung Outdoor Center.

It’s unclear how Perry got lost, but McCann said the weather may have played a role.

“The day she hiked it was very foggy, so maybe if you’ve never been up there before and aren’t familiar with this area, there is a trail which branches off and which is not marked,” she said.

Big Bend spans 150 miles of desert and mountainous terrain and is considered a “hiker’s paradise.”

The Lost Mine Trail is a popular hiking trail that is approximately 5 miles round trip and winds through wooded areas.

Trails were closed during the search. We don’t know when they will reopen.

Experts said if you’re planning to hike in far West Texas, the priority is to be prepared. You’ll need to pack appropriately, but also, if you’re playing alone, let others know your plans and check in regularly for safety.

Credit: Big Bend National Park

Credit: Big Bend National Park

Rescue teams carried a missing Houston hiker up steep terrain after she was found in Big Bend National Park.

Credit: Jeremy Hillary

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