The three friends drove in from the Twin Cities arriving in Rapid City, SD, on the morning of Friday, June 20, 2014, stopping at a camping store for supplies. Armed with a national park map, they decided to explore a remote location that required driving an hour and-a-half to a camp ground.
“We geared up and began a hike up a nearby mountain,” the reporting witness stated. “The hike was very strenuous. It was not a designated trail and involved a lot of climbing over fallen trees. After a couple hours we reached the summit and found an area with a clearing in the trees and a suitable place to set up a base camp.”