PAROWAN — Three adults and a dog did not anticipate how quickly darkness would fall upon them when they began hiking at about 1 p.m. in Parowan Canyon Monday and were later found near Valentine Peak just 2 miles southeast of Parowan by Iron County Search and Rescue crews.
At about 8 p.m. Iron County Search and Rescue crews were dispatched to an area on state Route 143 to rescue a group of hikers who lost their way in the dark, Iron County Sheriff’s Deputy Tony Gower said.
With little cellphone battery life, one of the men was able to call for help when they lost their way, Gower said. The group could see the lights of Parowan, but were unable to find their way down from the peak.
The man and his wife were not familiar with the area but their friend was able to make it down the steep hill they were on and get to a nearby house to call and wait for law enforcement to lead them to the couple and the dog, Gower said.
The hikers had only the light from their nearly dead cellphone and had become cold as the sun went down after long hours hiking.
“The wind made it pretty cold up there especially after it became dark,” Gower said. “The guy who made it down to meet us was cold and I let him warm up in my car.”
The couple started a fire, which helped rescue crews find them more quickly, Gower said. In a rescue situation, those needing assistance can help rescue crews by taking a lighter or a flash light with a strobe effect to help others locate them.
The couple and the dog were rescued between 10 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. when crews located them by GPS coordinates and the aid of the couple’s friend.
No injuries were reported, but the hikers were cold and exhausted from hiking many hours, Gower said.
Rescue crews hiked the couple and the dog down the hill with a flashlight to all-terrain vehicles and then to their vehicle.
Parowan City Police Department, Iron County Search and Rescue, and Iron County Sheriff’s Office attended to the rescue efforts.
Gower advised hikers be prepared when hiking even if staying out after dark isn’t planned, including carrying food, water and warm clothing.
Read more: Search, rescue crews find lost hiker near The Wave; how to hike safely, how to be found; Photo Gallery
“It gets dark earlier than you realize,” Gower said. “Take cellphones that are charged, let your family know where you are going and when you expect to be back. We have had more search and rescues this time of year because it gets dark so quickly.”
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