Distressed hiker near Gifford Canyon

April 21, 2016 Posted by: Zion National Park

On Wednesday November 18, 2015 at approximately 11:30am Rangers received a report of a hiker in distress in the area of Gifford Canyon. A Reporting Party (RP) had heard a hiker calling out for help in the area of Gifford Canyon, just east of the Zion - Mt. Carmel Tunnel. The RP stated that he was hearing the distressed hiker call out that he was "stuck".

Rangers began a hasty search for the distressed hiker in the area of Gifford Canyon. At approximately 2:00pm Rangers located the distressed hiker, who was alone and uninjured.

Technical SAR Rangers hiked out the Canyon Overlook trail to rescue the distressed hiker. Using ropes, natural gear anchorage, and two bolts the SAR team was able to gain access to the hiker. The hiker was raised approximately 170ft up to a ledge where the rescuers and the distressed hiker could return to the Canyon Overlook Trail on foot.

At the Canyon Overlook Trailhead a ranger interviewed the hiker, who explained that this was his first time to Zion, and had come into the park early in the morning. He began hiking the Canyon Overlook Trail in darkness at around 6:00am with no supplies. During the hike, he lost the Canyon Overlook trail and began scrambling up rock ledges. He eventually realized he had lost the trail and attempted to find his way back. When he descended into a gulley, slid approximately 10 feet down steep sandstone slabs, and then fell approximately 8 ft. to an exposed ledge where he began to call for help.

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Hiking, Search and Rescue




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Last updated: April 21, 2016

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