September 12, 2016
Contact: Katherine Belcher
, (907) 683-9583
Search and rescue efforts have been called off at Denali National Park and Preserve after an overdue hiker was found unharmed and in good condition.
Carlos Castrejon, a 45 year-old man from Mexico was last seen at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, September 7, 2016. Castrejon was heading for the abandoned Fairbanks Transit bus that is parked in a clearing along the Stampede Trail near Denali National Park on state land, according to a companion who did not accompany him on the hike. The bus was popularized by the 1996 Jon Krakauer book, "Into the Wild," and a 2007 movie of the same name.
Castrejon and his friend were staying in the Riley Creek Campground and he was expected to return on September 10. The Alaska Regional Communication Center was notified by his friend on September 11 that Castrejon was overdue from a three-night trip (four days). Park Service staff immediately began to investigate and ground searches began this morning.
Prior to his departure on September 7, Castrejon was advised by Denali’s backcountry information staff that he was not allowing sufficient time for his planned hike. Castrejon’s route from the park to the bus was approximately 15 miles, one way, over difficult terrain.
Rangers launched multiple searches, including a team on Stampede Road on all-terrain vehicles, two teams on the ground in and around the Teklanika River, and a road containment team with spotting scopes.