Missing 75-Year-Old Hiker Found Dead Near Mount Charleston

by Caitlin Berard

In late August, 75-year-old Rock Stanley and his wife left their home in Texas and headed west for a vacation in Nevada. In the early hours of the morning on August 23, Stanley left his family to hike the North Loop Trail on Mount Charleston and never returned.

A search of the area ensued, both Stanley’s family and rescue teams scouring Mount Charleston tirelessly for weeks hoping to find the elderly hiker alive and well. Tragically, however, the hiker was found dead during a search by Red Rock Search and Rescue over the weekend.

The hiker’s granddaughter, Courtney Stanley, explained that he was found off the South Loop trail near Devil’s Thumb. “We are working under the assumption he did make the summit and was heading back down the south loop trail,” she told KTNV.

Investigators Do Not Suspect Foul Play in Death of Hiker

According to Rock Stanley’s son, the hiker texted early that morning. In the message, he said he got lost on the trail and was trying to find his way back. That was the last time anyone heard from him.

“We are waiting on a formal identification and examination for more details,” the family of the hiker shared on Facebook.

After being found, the hiker was pronounced dead at 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon (September 17). His cause and manner of death are still pending. However, investigators have confirmed that there was “no evidence of foul play.”

Understandably, the family of Rock Stanley had “mixed feelings” following the discovery of his remains. Though they spent weeks searching for him, they still hoped to find Stanley alive. “We’re really grateful we can bring him and give him a proper service,” his granddaughter explained. “But sad and confused as to what happened.”

“We know at this point that it does not look like there are injuries from a fall,” she added.

Another Hiker Found Dead in Colorado

Sadly, the missing Nevada hiker wasn’t the only one to be found dead over the weekend. On Sunday afternoon, search and rescue crews discovered the body of a hiker in the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space area in Colorado.

“Emergency Services personnel, deputies, rangers from Larimer County Department of Natural Resources, as well as members of Larimer County Search and Rescue, Poudre Fire Authority, and UCHealth medical crews searched the area until after midnight. The search was put on hold until daylight,” read a press release from the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.

They resumed the search at 7 a.m. Sunday, finding the body beneath a rock ledge a little after noon. “The decedent’s body was recovered,” officials said. “The incident is being investigated as an unattended death. The identity of the decedent, as well as his cause and manner of death, will be released by the Larimer County Coroner’s Office.