Another hiker is missing in Rocky Mountain National Park – here's what we know so far

The summit of Longs Peak glows at sunrise after a fresh snowfall in Estes Park Colorado
The man is believed to have summitted Longs Peak on Sunday but never returned to his vehicle (Image credit: RondaKimbrow)

A major search effort is underway in Rocky Mountain National Park after a man vanished following an attempt to climb Longs Peak. 

Mountain rescue teams launched the search yesterday for 23-year-old Lucas Macaj who attempted to climb the 14er on Sunday. The Colorado Springs resident was reported missing that evening amid significant storms in the area after failing to return to his vehicle, according to a news release from Rocky Mountain National Park.

Macaj set off from the Longs Peak Trailhead early on Sunday morning and texted a friend to say he had reached the summit at 1 p.m. via the Keyhole route. The news release describes Macaj as 5' 9" tall and weighing 155 pounds. He is said to be wearing a dark colored top, tan or brown pants, khaki hiking boots and carrying a black backpack

Crews from The Rocky Mountain Rescue Team and Flight for Life as wells as a fixed-wing aircraft from the State of Colorado Department of Fire Prevention and Control have been searching the route on foot and from the air. 

Anyone with information they believe could be helpful searchers is asked to contact the National Park Service Investigative Services Bureau Tip Line by calling or texting 888-653-0009, by filling out an online form at or by emailing You may remain anonymous.

In October 2023, another man went missing while on a trail run in the same park. Teams searched for Chad Pallansch for two weeks before calling off efforts; he remains missing.

Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado on a summer day

In October 2023, another man went missing while on a trail run in the same park (Image credit: Roschetzkylstockphoto)

Hiking 14ers

Hiking in and of itself carries some risk, from weather and possibility of falling and getting injured to rare wildlife encounters, and hiking 14ers certainly adds to that risk. People die hiking 14ers every year. 

There are a few factors that add to the risk level of hiking 14ers, including high altitude, trickier navigation and extreme weather – early May is considered very early to be hiking a 14er, and winter conditions likely persist above treeline. Learn more in our article on staying alive when you're hiking a 14er.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.