Barefoot hiker lost for 30 hours in Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. (KOIN 6)
Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. (KOIN 6)

GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (AP) — A lost hiker who spent 30 hours wandering barefoot on the hot sands of Great Sand Dunes National Park is expected to recover after being found dehydrated.

Max McClesky, 20, of Portland, Oregon, was found Wednesday after he started walking toward the park’s entrance lights, officials said. He apparently set out without shoes on a night hike with a friend when they became separated around 2 a.m. Tuesday.

The friend made it out of the park, which is home to the tallest sand dunes in North America, but McClesky was disoriented and walked the remote southern and western sides of the park for the rest of the day. Rangers said he saw the park’s entrance lights that evening and began walking in that direction before being found by a ranger the next day.

The sands reach up to 140 degrees during the day, but the nights are chilly.

Night hikes aren’t unusual in the park because the distance from city lights makes for great stargazing, park superintendent Lisa Carrico said.

McClesky drank water from a remote wetland on the west side of the dunes, rangers said.

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