"It was coming straight at us" – hikers capture video of plane nearly crashing into Continental Divide

Flying low over moss covered mountains, South Coast, Iceland
It was a 4th of July hike to remember for two Colorado hikers (Image credit: Arctic-Images)

You never know what you're going to see when you get your hiking boots on and hit the trail in the Rocky Mountains – snow in July? A mountain lion stalking an elk? Or how about a plane nearly nosediving into the side of the mountain?

That's exactly what two Colorado hikers encountered on July 4 when they were hiking up to Devil's Thumb Pass on the Continental Divide in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. In a video posted to Facebook, which you can view below, the light aircraft appears to narrowly avoid crashing into the mountain during a heart-dropping nosedive.

"It was clear the plane was struggling trying to clear the saddle. It was coming straight at us, and as a former licensed pilot, I was worried it would go into an aerodynamic stall," recalls Jason Dunn, who says his son Tyler captured the footage.

"Then it either did, or the pilot made a last ditch effort to turn the plane around in a dead end valley before crashing into the mountain (or us)."

Dunn writes that he is sharing the video as he thinks the pilot might want the footage.

"If anyone has connection to Boulder municipal airport, you might send. I’m guessing he was coming from there and would love to have the video."

Since the video was shared, The Summit Daily has reported that the plane has been confirmed as a rented Cessna 152 that belongs to the Rocky Mountain Flight School in Broomfield. Greg Boom, owner of the school, told Sky-Hi News that his team is trying to contact the pilot to learn more about the incident.

Ordinarily, we'd take the opportunity to provide you with some hiking safety advice here but honestly, there's no handbook for this. If you see a plane coming towards you, duck. We reckon these hikers won't forget this day in a hurry.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com 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.