A search for a missing Denver man — an off-road motorcycle rider — is ongoing Monday in rugged desert terrain on the Western Slope.

Friends of the 34-year-old man called authorities Monday after he didn't return from a weekend trip to the Grand Junction area, said Heather Benjamin, a Mesa County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.

Searchers began looking for the man about 9 p.m. Monday in the U.S. Bureau of Land Management area north of the Grand Junction Regional Airport. The area is popular with off-road bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

The man's truck and motorcycle trailer have been found, but searchers have not picked up any traces of the rider.

About 20 people, including volunteers, are searching on foot Tuesday along with a local helicopter.

A fixed wing airplane from the Colorado National Guard/Civil Air Patrol also joined the mission Tuesday.

Searchers are looking in the Bookcliff area and in widespread desert north of the airport.

The missing man was reported to be on a Honda 125cc dirt bike with aftermarket performance accessories, red, black and white in color, according to the sheriff's office. He was wearing standard dirt bike riding gear, but no detailed description is available. It's believed he was riding in the desert north of the airport starting mid-day Saturday.


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He's described as an experienced dirt-bike rider who is familiar with the area. He has no medical issues that searchers are aware of, Benjamin said. He was riding alone.

Anyone who believes they may have spotted the missing biker is asked to call 970 242-6707.

Weather in the area is hot, sunny and breezy Tuesday. The high temperature in Grand Junction on Tuesday should hit 93 degrees according to the National Weather Service.

Kieran Nicholson: 303-954-1822, knicholson@denverpost.com or twitter.com/kierannicholson