One hiker died and another had to be rescued after the two became lost on a weekend hike in Mesa County.

On Friday, according to the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, a group of hikers saw smoke and heard someone yelling in Mee Canyon.  The group called 911, but had no way to reach the hiker.

Mesa County Search and Rescue crews flew into the canyon with the assistance of the Centurylink helicopter and were able to locate the troubled hiker. He was found exhausted and dehydrated but otherwise in good health. Because of the rugged terrain, rescue workers estimated he had hiked 10 to 15 miles before being rescued.

Mesa County Sheriff's Office

The 31-year-old hiker told authorities he and his 32-year-old friend were from out of state and earlier in the week decided to do a short hike in Knowles Canyon. The two became lost and didn't have a cell phone to call for help. After two-and-a-half days of hiking, his friend fell into a canyon with his two dogs. Unable to reach his friend, the rescued hiker continued hiking for another day-and-a-half seeking help. Once he ran out of food and water, he used a lighter to start a fire to signal for help. He was found about four miles from the Knowles Canyon trailhead.

Mesa County Sheriff's Office

Rescue crews found the hiker's friend and dogs about a mile from the initial rescue sight. According to the Mesa County Coroner's office, the man had died instantly of blunt force trauma after falling 60-80 feet down a slick rock formation. The dogs suffered minor injuries.

About 30 search and rescue volunteers were involved in the two-day rescue and recovery effort.

[MCSO]

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