On June 28, 2016 at approximately 11:14pm Zion dispatch was informed by Washington County dispatch of a 911 call about 5 lost hikers on the Emerald Pools Trail. They had lost the trail near the middle Emerald Pool and were needing assistance finding the trail again. There were no injuries in the group, they had plenty of water, but only had cell phones as flashlights.
Based on the location description provided by the hikers it was believed they were on the closed trail the runs from the bridge at the Emerald Pools Trailhead to the middle pool. Dispatch had instructed the lost party to turn around and head back to the middle pool. They were requesting someone to give them assistance in hiking out.
At 12:12am on June 29, one responder began hiking up the Emerald Pools trail. At 12:18am the responder met up with the group about 1/4mile up the Lower Emerald Pools trail. There were no injuries and the group was able to hike out under their own power.
The group stated they had arrived late to Zion National Park and had originally planned on hiking Angels Landing but had decided against it due to the late hour. Instead, they hiked the Emerald Pools trail. They had seen and hiked past the "Trail Closed" sign at the middle pool. They started to "panic" when they began to see rockfall and debris on the trail. They believed they had lost the trail. Additionally they had seen eyes in the bushes and heard the rustling of critters which had increased their panic.
The group had followed the dispatcher's advice and turned around, eventually finding the main trail again. Everybody was back at the trailhead by 12:29am.