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Crews search for two missing hikers in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Jason Hiser and Neal Peckens, both 32, went missing in Glacier National Park last week; search crews continue to comb the area.

Crews searching for two hikers who went missing in Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana have found tracks and a recently-used fire ring they believe are connected to the two men.

Relatives of 32-year-old Neal Peckens of Virginia and 32-year-old Jason Hiser of Maryland reported the pair missing when they failed to catch their flights home to the East Coast. According to their back country permits, they were scheduled to return to a park trail head on Wednesday, completing a 17-mile loop.

Park rangers found the hikers' vehicle on Friday and started their search Saturday, according to a statement from Glacier National Park. The park also solicited help from people on social media and posted "missing" posters on Facebook.

On Sunday, 50 park rangers combed the area on foot and horseback but encountered tough weather conditions. Snow drifts, strong winds and limited visibility hindered the search effort, according to a statement released Sunday by the national park. In some areas, searchers came up against 18 inches of snow on the ground.

"The area they are working in is very steep and exposed," Glacier National Park spokeswoman Denise Germann told The Associated Press. "It's right along the Continental Divide, and it's very windy.

The tracks and the fire ring were found on the west side of the Continental Divide -- notably treacherous terrain, the park statement said.

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