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Grand County SAR rescue Castleton Gateway Road
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Couple rescued on Castleton-Gateway Road in Grand County

Grand County Search and Rescue was called to rescue a couple who'd been stranded by the deep snow on the Castleton-Gateway Road. Photo: Grand County Search and Rescue.

SALT LAKE CITY — An unplowed and unmaintained road contributed to a longer-than-anticipated stay for an Oregon couple on the Castleton-Gateway Road in Grand County.

Grand County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (Grand County SAR) said the couple and their dog were stranded in deep snow at an elevation of 8,400 feet on the Castleton-Gateway Road. The road is defined as an unpaved backroad by TrekNow.com

The couple was reportedly stranded for nearly 24 hours before they were found by Grand County Search and Rescue on Friday night.

Grand County officials responded with 2 snowmobiles and a tracked Polaris Ranger. They were found about 5 miles from the Utah border with Colorado.

The Grand County SAR provides this safety tip for those thinking about driving the Castleton-Gateway Road:  “Check local road conditions before travelling off the main byways.  Carry survival gear such as additional warm clothing, food, and water.  A shovel and tire chains may come in handy.  Satellite messaging devices which work in areas with no cell phone service have saved lives,” the agency said in a statement.

Others got stuck too

A tow truck that initially responded to the couple’s call for help also got stuck in the deep snow, on a road that Grand County officials say is often a place where people become stuck or stranded. 

“Drivers who are unaware of conditions on the unmaintained road and who are unprepared to spend a night in winter conditions are often directed to this road by navigation apps which indicate it is the route from the Unaweep Canyon area of Colorado to Moab,” Grand County Search and Rescue said in a statement.

” Even well-outfitted 4X4 vehicles have become stuck in deep snowdrifts along the road.”

Grand County SAR said that the couple who became stranded relied on their Google Maps app and got stuck when they tried to turn around in the deep snow.