A wide-ranging search for a man who went missing early last week in Glacier National Park has been scaled back, the park announced Thursday.
Search efforts began the morning of July 9 in the Logan Pass area of Glacier National Park for Mark Sinclair, 66, recently of Whitefish, the park said in a late-afternoon news release.
Sinclair was seen at about 2:30 p.m. Monday, July 8, by Logan Pass Visitor Center staff, leaving the parking lot and heading toward the Highline Trail. He left behind his dog, unsecured vehicle, and car keys.
According to Thursday's news release:
Active search efforts took place between July 9 and July 18. The overall search area encompassed numerous drainages east and west of the Continental Divide including Upper McDonald Creek, Mineral Creek, Swiftcurrent, and Belly River drainages.
Trails and off-trail search areas included Flattop Mountain, the Highline from Logan Pass to Goat Haunt, Swiftcurrent Pass, the Loop, and Hidden Lake. Other associated trail areas attached to the Highline were also searched. Aerial searches included the entire spine of the Continental Divide on both sides from Logan Pass to 50 Mountain.
The search area is characterized by steep slopes with cliff faces frequently more than 100 feet high, gray rocks that act as camouflage, and dense shrubs that conceal the ground. Searchers also encountered high winds and heavy rain and hail.
The park's search and rescue team was assisted by the Flathead County Sheriff’s Department —including ground patrols, canine units, a search drone, and a volunteer search and rescue division. Two Bear Air and the U.S. Forest Service provided daytime aerial search capacity and nighttime infrared flights. The U.S. Geological Survey also assisted with search drone support.
Sinclair is still considered a missing person, according to the release. The search effort has been moved to a “limited continuous mode,” meaning that active searching will not occur every day, but will continue in a reduced capacity with patrols.
The park’s investigation will actively continue in hopes of gaining further information about his whereabouts. If a clue or witness report provides new information about Sinclair’s possible whereabouts or belongings, additional search efforts will follow up.
Updated missing person posters with Sinclair’s picture and description will be posted throughout the park for the duration of the summer.
The park said rangers would like to continue hearing from anyone who was in the Logan Pass and Granite Park vicinity on or after July 8 who may have had contact with Sinclair or seen him on a trail, including guests at Granite Park Chalet and backcountry overnight campers.
The park has not ruled out the possibility that Sinclair may have traveled farther from the Logan Pass area, given the number of trails that connect directly from that area throughout the park's 1 million acres.
“We continue to ask the public to think back to their visits to the park last week. Additional sightings or the discovery of Mark’s belongings could help investigators identify new search tactics,” said Search Team Commander Ed Visnovske.
“The park deeply appreciates the efforts of our county and federal partners — we could not have covered such a significant area or conducted such an in-depth search without that support," Visnovske said in the release.
Two visitors called the tip line once the search began, and reported seeing him between Haystack Butte and Granite Park Chalet on the Highline Trail in the early evening on July 8. No other verified sightings have been received beyond July 8.
Members of the public who have information about Sinclair’s last seen whereabouts are urged to call the tip line at 406-888-7077. The park said no further releases should be expected unless there's a significant change in the case.