Brian Pallister broke arm during solo hike in New Mexico, briefly reported missing

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister was hiking while on vacation in New Mexico and was overdue by an hour when his wife called police, who found him injured at a trailhead.

Manitoba premier now recovering at home in Winnipeg after breaking arm in several places

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister suffered multiple injuries and numerous cuts and bruises after getting lost and falling while on a hike in New Mexico. (Submitted/Brian Pallister)

Manitoba's premier was briefly reported missing to police before being found injured during a hike in New Mexico.

Premier Brian Pallister was hiking while on vacation and was overdue by an hour when his wife called police, who found him injured at a trailhead.

Lt. Elizabeth Armijo of the New Mexico State Police said Pallister was reported missing by Esther Pallister on Monday at about 7 p.m. local time.

The premier's office said Brian Pallister was hiking alone in the Gila Wilderness when he had a serious fall and suffered compound fractures in his left arm, along with numerous cuts and bruises.

The government said Pallister was hospitalized that night and returned to Manitoba on Friday to determine if surgery will be necessary.

Armijo said rescue volunteers began to prepare for a search after Pallister's wife, Esther, called. But a New Mexico State Police officer who had been searching some different trailheads in the area found the premier at the main entrance for the Mogollon Trail, Armijo said.

"When he was located, he had sustained some injuries, nothing serious, but enough to be transported to a hospital where he was treated," she told The Canadian Press Friday.

"He was waiting there and, due to his injury, it sounds like he was immobile."

A compound fracture is defined as involving a broken bone that pierces through a skin wound.

'Treacherous areas' on trail: police

Pallister was on vacation during a one-week break between legislature sessions.

Armijo noted the Mogollon Trail has varying levels of intensity.

"It's in a very high-altitude area and there are a lot of canyons and some treacherous areas that can be difficult for hiking. There's a variety of trails that you can go in that specific area, but it's definitely a trail that would be considered for experienced hikers."

Pallister's office initially said the fall occurred Tuesday, but a spokesman later said that might have been a mistake.

"He arrived back today, so we informed the public today," Pallister's director of communications, Chisholm Pothier, said in an email when asked why the premier's accident wasn't made public until Friday.

Pallister's office said he will be resting at home with his family this weekend.

"He ... would like to thank police and medical personnel for their quality care," the premier's office said in a statement.

The Gila Wilderness is a 2,200-square kilometre protected area in southwestern New Mexico that offers "forested hills, majestic mountains and range land," says a U.S. government website. It is remote and some areas are hard to access, because the wilderness designation includes strict limits on roads and motorized vehicles.

Throne speech coming Tuesday

Pallister's Progressive Conservative government is scheduled to lay out its legislative plans in a throne speech on Tuesday.

"The premier continues to work on preparations for the opening of a new session of the Manitoba Legislature and next week's speech from the throne," the release from his office states.

The upcoming session is set to open on Tuesday. The throne speech is scheduled to be read at 1:30 p.m. that day.

During an alternate throne speech from Manitoba's opposition NDP on Friday, leader Wab Kinew opened his remarks to media by extending well-wishes to the premier.

"I've had a compound fracture in my arm myself before, and I can tell you it's not fun," Kinew said.

"So I wish him well, wish him a speedy recovery and just hope he can get well soon."

With files from CBC