UPDATE: The hikers have been found “alive and well” according to Kane County Emergency Services. The complete update can be found here.
KANE COUNTY – Search and rescue efforts were launched Monday morning to locate two overdue hikers.
Two Salt Lake City women, one 51 and the other 40, were reported overdue and missing Sunday night when they did not return on schedule, according to a statement made by Kane County Sheriff’s Sgt. Alan Alldredge.
The hikers left Thursday from a point south of Mount Carmel Junction and west of Highway 89 in the East Fork area of the Virgin River. The hikers’ intention was to hike down the East Fork to an area near a popular spot called “Fat Man’s Misery,” and then hike out to their vehicle parked at Checkerboard Mesa in Zion National Park. They had planned to be out by Sunday morning.
A Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter out of Cedar City was used Monday to pick up a Kane County Search and Rescue member and fly the entire route designated on maps being used by the women.
The initial search did not result in any visual sightings of the hikers.
Alldredge said the helicopter is expanding the search area during an afternoon run.
Ground teams are being deployed to the few available access points into the canyon.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.