Missing hiker, 23, who vanished in Colorado, sent friend final text from mountain summit

A hiker has gone missing after reaching the summit of the highest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park, and search crews are looking for any sign of his whereabouts.

Lucas Macaj, 23, of Colorado Springs, last made contact on Sunday afternoon when he messaged a friend to tell them he had reached the summit of Longs Peak.

The mountain's summit is 14,259 feet above sea level, according to the National Park Service.

Storms began rolling into the region in the hours after he reached the summit, and Mr Macaj has not been heard from since.

The same difficult weather – including strong winds and whiteout conditions – has challenged search crews for the last three days, but efforts to find Mr Macaj have not been abandoned.

Lucas Macaj, 23, wente missing after he summited Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park on Sunday (RMNP)
Lucas Macaj, 23, wente missing after he summited Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park on Sunday (RMNP)

“Search efforts have taken place on the Boulder Brook Trail,” the NPS said, adding that air searches have also been conducted. “Air reconnaissance has focused on the Keyhole Route including The Ledges, The Trough, The Narrows, The Homestretch and the saddle between Longs Peak and Mount Meeker as well as the Loft and Keplinger’s Coulier. Park rangers are also continuing investigations.”

Low altitude clouds reduced visibility for the aerial searchers on Wednesday.

"Team members have been reviewing aerial reconnaissance photos taken on 13 May, for any possible clues," Rocky Mountain National Park spokesperson Kyle Patterson told People.

One of the ground teams hiked to an area called Chasm Shelter, stayed overnight, and today will ski to an area called Clark's Arrow Route at Keplinger's Coulier, Coloradoan reports.

A dog team was also used on Wednesday.

Longs Peak Trail is a 15-mile route that the NPS warns is not a simple day hike. While the route does not require special equipment – like climbing ropes and anchors or crampons – it is rated as a Class 3 climb. The trail requires some scrambling – traversing up and over rocks and hills – as well as route-finding abilities.

Mr Macaj is believed to be wearing a dark coloured top, tan or brown pants, khaki-coloured boots and a black backpack. He may also be wearing a beanie and dark coloured gloves.

He is described as being 5'9”, 155lb, with brown hair and green eyes.

Anyone who has information on the man's whereabouts or who believes they've seen him can assist in the search by reaching out to the National Park Service Investigative Services Bureau Tip Line by calling 888-653-0009.