Rocky Mtn National Park visitor struck by lightning

Rock, mudslide closes Fern Lake Trail

ESTES PARK, Colo. - A Rocky Mountain National Park visitor was struck by lightning just after 12:30 p.m. Thursday. 

Another visitor called 911 to report it happened on the Ute Trail. 

Rangers found the patient about 100 yards from the Ute Crossing Trailhead on Trail Ridge Road, approximately 1 mile above Rainbow Curve. 

When rangers arrived to the area, the storm was still active with intense lightning activity.  The patient was evacuated by park staff and Estes Park EMS down the trail to a waiting ambulance. 

The patient was then transported by Estes Park Ambulance to the Estes Park Medical Center. The patient was a 65 year-old female.  Her condition was not released.       

Park rangers also responded to a report of a mud and rock slide on the Fern Lake Trail, in the Arch Rock Area and the area of the Fern Lake Fire, about 1 mile from the Fern Lake Trailhead.  

The report indicates that hikers may be unable to pass through the area, due to debris.  No injuries have been reported and no further information was available.  Backcountry hikers and horse users have either negotiated the debris flow or have been rerouted to the Cub Lake Trailhead.  The Fern Lake Trail is closed from the trailhead to the Pool and will remain closed until further notice.  Overnight campers in the area are being contacted to let them know about the trail closure.

Lighting is a significant hazard in the Colorado Rockies, particularly during the summer months when thunderstorms are most prevalent and in areas located above tree line where shelter is limited.   

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