A non-profit all-volunteer organization providing four-season emergency backcounty service in Grand County, Colorado, USA


Grand County Search and Rescue, Serving Grand County, Colorado - What We Do (and Why We Do It)

The men and women who make up the Grand County Search and Rescue (GCSAR) team are tied together by one common goal – helping people. We often help people who are lost or injured in our mountain terrain. Every once in a while we get the opportunity to save a life. That's what keeps us going.

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with a fully qualified team of trained personnel to deal with any search or rescue within our scope. We will go out on a search in the middle of a blizzard on a winter night because we are trained – and because we are needed.

Our mission load averages 50 call-outs per year. We have assisted skiers, snowmobilers, hikers, hunters, snowshoers, climbers, rafters, fishermen, mountain bikers and lost children. We have been on scene for car wrecks, bus wrecks, airplane accidents, forest fires and train derailments. When the public is in need of mountain search and rescue services, GCSAR is there.


Grand County Search and Rescue has been in existence since the late 70's and was officially organized and incorporated in 1985. We have grown from a loose cadre of volunteers, horsemen and concerned citizens, initially organized as a sheriff's posse to aid victims of backcountry emergencies, to a full-scale rescue team servicing all of Grand County. With the growth of Grand County as a recreational destination, our role to provide mountain search and rescue services has dramatically increased.

In 1995, we became fully accredited members of the national Mountain Rescue Association by demonstrating team competence in all aspects of mountain search and rescue, including avalanche rescue, snow evacuation, high angle & scree rescues, search techniques, leadership and communication skills.

Additionally, we are strong in specialized scenarios particular to Grand County, including snowmobile search and rescue and swiftwater rescue.

Through our affiliation with the Mountain Rescue Association and the Colorado Search and Rescue Board, we can effect mutual aid search and rescue operations not only in Grand County, but wherever we may be needed in Colorado or other states.

Grand County

Grand County is located west of Denver in the northern Colorado Rockies. Rocky Mountain National Park, Arapaho National Forest, the Indian Peaks Wilderness, Vasquez Wilderness and the headwaters of the Colorado River are located along the Continental Divide, which forms our eastern boundary. The western side of the county is rolling hills and plateaus of the Colorado River Valley. Tourism and ranching are the primary industries with the Winter Park Ski Area being the largest employer.

The history of Grand County revolves around ranching, railroads and logging. The railroad passes through Grand County after traveling through the eight mile long Moffat Tunnel under the Continental Divide.

Recreational opportunities abound throughout the county. The most popular outdoor activities are skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and camping.