Hikers find family who spent 2 nights lost in Colorado wilderness

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Hikers discovered a family who had spent two nights in the southern Colorado wilderness after getting lost, authorities said Tuesday.

Mike and Laura Hampshire, who live in northern Arizona, found Dustin Beaver and his three children in the Weminuche Wilderness northeast of Durango and helped them out to a trailhead Monday night, La Plata County sheriff’s spokesman Dan Bender said. The family was far beyond the official search area.

Beaver and his 8-year-old twins, a boy and girl, and his 6-year-old son were in good shape. Their only complaint was the bug bites they received since setting out for their hike Saturday. It took searchers, who were prepared to look for the family all night, an additional seven hours to hike out, Bender said.

Searchers combing the forest since Monday morning weren’t sure whether the family had a tent, food or extra water and that Beaver was able to start a fire each night, The Durango Herald reported.

Beaver's wife reported them missing Sunday night after she found his car parked at another trailhead.

Other hikers have gotten lost in the area, and searchers this week had trouble keeping their bearings, Bender said. The area has several game and livestock trails that lead down into steep, rugged terrain.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.