San Juan County deputies: Snowmobiles searching for 5 overdue backpackers in southeastern Utah

Utah officials say they're dispatching snowmobiles in a search for five out-of-state college students on a wilderness backpacking trip.

Jeremy Hoggard of the San Juan County Sheriff's office tells KSL the hikers were supposed to emerge Sunday from a recreation area of the Manti-LaSal National Forest west of Monticello.

The sheriff's office also put in a request Monday for a search helicopter.

Authorities declined to identify the hikers or the college they attend.

Monticello is about 240 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.

Elk Ridge reaches elevations of 8,800 feet and received snow in recent days. The area drains into Dark Canyon, a wilderness area, which empties into the Colorado River at the upper reaches of Lake Powell.