Lake County Search and Rescue

Saving lives above 10,000 feet

LCSAR is an all-volunteer team providing emergency search, rescue and recovery services for persons lost, missing or otherwise impaired in the rugged backcountry surrounding Leadville, Colorado.

About the LCSAR Team

Lake County Search and Rescue is entirely composed of volunteers from Leadville, Colorado. We are passionate skiers, snowboarders, hikers, rafters, runners, bikers, guides, and explorers. We are also paramedics, EMTs, mechanics, police officers, librarians, writers, engineers, and utility providers. Our love for the outdoors extends to helping other backcountry adventurers.

Our training includes avalanche rescue, swift water rescue, wilderness response, medical first aid, wildland firefighting, rope rescue, SCUBA, mental health assistance, and situational awareness. We primarily operate in backcountry settings, but we also deploy in the frontcountry and provide mutual aid to other counties.

Our team operates under the Incident Command System, at the direction of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and in partnership with the Lake County Office of Emergency Management.

Call 9-1-1 for all emergencies.


We respond to the following incidents:

  • Assisting lost, injured or stranded parties in the backcountry
  • Water rescue
  • Avalanches
  • Flooding
  • Race support: Course sweeps and evacuation of injured racers
  • Welfare checks during emergencies
  • General assistance for any First Response Agency who requests our services
  • Mutual aid for SAR teams from surrounding counties

For details about our latest missions, see our Facebook page



LCSAR is entirely run by volunteers. If you’d like to support our mission, you can make a tax-deductible donation to LCSAR via the Lake County Community Fund.



mt massive mission LG#3-2-08-01-11


Are you interested in joining LCSAR?

New member onboarding occurs once a year in the spring. Our next onboarding will be Spring 2025. If you're interested in joining, you must attend an info session (date TBD). All new members must pass a full background check and complete orientation before being deployed on missions.

Prospective members are welcome to attend our regular meetings on the first Monday of each month. Please email us to learn more or to add your name to the interest list for our next onboarding cohort.

Guidelines for Backcountry adventures

Leadville's East Side Mining District in winter

Smart Preparations for Backcountry Adventures

As you finalize your plans to travel through the rugged backcountry that surrounds Leadville, it is important to leave a detailed itinerary with a responsible person.

Lake County Road 2B and the Mosquito Range

Packing Guidelines for your Backcountry Kit

Weather and terrain conditions can change rapidly and unexpectedly in the high altitude of Lake County. It is important to carry the gear necessary for the worst, while always hoping for the best!

LCSAR Encourages You to Leave No Trace

The land of Lake County is a beautiful and wild resource. It requires proactive preservation for future generations, including following the Leave No Trace Seven Principles.

Research Leads to Safe and Enjoyable Backcountry Trips

Check out some team members' favorite online resources: educating youth, digital maps, route descriptions, GPS coordinates, and information on cell phone coverage.

LCSAR in the news


Leadville, CO

September 9, 2020

“Despite the cancellation of events and restricted travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lake County Search and Rescue (LCSAR) saw an abnormally busy summer with an increased number of calls compared to past seasons.”

Leadville, CO

June 13, 2018

“Slow is smooth; smooth is fast,” reads Lake County Search and Rescue’s favorite motto. Amidst an upward tick in call volume, the group is trying to stand by their chosen phrase…

Leadville, CO

February 19, 2018

While high country dwellers are glad to see snowstorms roll through, leaving behind miles of fresh snow for outdoor winter activities, backcountry adventure can quickly turn into something more threatening…

Liaison agencies