A search is currently underway in Guadalupe Mountains National Park for a missing 71-year-old hiker who vanished after sharing plans to hike the park’s extensive trail system.
Editor’s note: Richard Berry has now been found alive. The details are reported here. We will keep the following article live for documentation.
Richard Berry was last spotted around noon on Thursday, November 2, 2023 at the junction of the Marcus and Blue Ridge Trails according to park officials. Earlier that day, Berry had informed his family that he intended to hike from Dog Canyon to Blue Ridge within the national park boundaries.
Berry’s vehicle was located at the Dog Canyon Trailhead, where he is believed to have initiated his hike. However, he never checked into his hotel as planned on the evening of November 2, prompting fears for his safety.
The National Park Service (NPS) has described Berry as a bald, 71-year-old white male standing about 5’11” and weighing roughly 200 pounds. When he was last seen by other hikers, he was wearing a blue jacket and carrying a backpack.
Park rangers have actively been searching the expansive network of trails across the park’s 86,000 acres, but are also calling upon the public for any potential clues regarding Berry’s whereabouts. With over 80 miles of trails, officials believe it is possible that other visitors may have spotted Berry hiking on November 2 or 3.
Any members of the public who hiked the Marcus, Blue Ridge, or other connecting trails on November 2 or 3 and who believe they may have seen Richard Berry are urged to contact the park’s tip line at 888-653-0009. Tips can also be submitted online at go.nps.gov/SubmitATip or via email to email@example.com.
Rangers are stressing the importance of public assistance in helping piece together Berry’s movements through the park’s vast and rugged backcountry hiking areas. Any details regarding potential sightings could provide valuable information as officials continue search operations.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park protects a section of the Guadalupe Mountain range, including the highest peak in Texas. Spanning the New Mexico-Texas border, the park contains 80 miles of trails through desert and forest landscapes.
As the search continues, rangers are reminding hikers to share their plans with someone before hitting the trails and to be prepared for changing weather conditions. Those with any information that could assist in locating Richard Berry are urged to reach out to the National Park Service immediately.