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Search underway for missing Fort Collins man in Rocky Mountain National Park

missing Chad Pallansch.jpg
Posted at 7:11 PM, Sep 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-29 21:11:23-04

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK — A search is underway for a missing Fort Collins man in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP).

Chad Pallansch, 49, was last heard from around noon on Wednesday and reported overdue on Thursday, according to officials with the national park. Park rangers located his vehicle at the North Inlet Trailhead on the west side of RMNP.

Pallansch started from the East Inlet Trailhead near Grand Lake on Wednesday. According to RMNP, he was attempting a 28-mile route which included crossing the Continental Divide and some off-trail travel through steep talus slopes. Potential travel areas include Lake Verna, Mount Alice, Chiefs Head Peak, Black Lake, Mills Lake and Flattop Mountain, park officials said.

missing Chad Pallansch

Ground crews as well as air reconnaissance combed the North Inlet and East Inlet Trails Thursday, as well as east of the divide near Mount Alice. On Friday, crews searched the Black Lake and Upper Glacier Gorge area, Thunder Lake and the North Inlet Trail to Solitutde Lake, RMNP said.

Pallansch is 5 feet 7 inches tall and 155 pounds with brown hair and blue runner. He is described as a fit runner with both trail running and marathon experience. RMNP officials said he is likely wearing a black ultralight jacket, black running shorts or leggings and a gray fanny pack.

missing Chad Pallansch

Anyone who was in the above areas on Wednesday or has information about Pallansch's whereabouts is asked to call or text the National Park Service Investigative Services Bureau tip line at 888-653-0009. Tipsters can also make a report online or email

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