Zion hiker rescued after 2 days in The Narrows

The Narrows in Zion National Park | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A 65-year-old woman was transported to the hospital Thursday morning after spending two nights stranded in The Narrows in Zion National Park.

A rescue team located the woman late Wednesday night but were unable to bring her to safety until morning. The team remained with the hiker until daybreak.

A family visiting  Zion National Park set out Tuesday on the popular “Top Down” hike through The Narrows, a 16-mile, two-day hike that begins at Chamberlain’s Ranch and ends at the Temple of Sinawava, park spokesperson Aly Baltrus said.

During the hike, the family realized they would be unable to reach their intended campsite by nightfall and decided to spend the night in an area nearby. During the night the 65-year-old woman began suffering from a possible medical issue that prevented her from continuing the hike.

Wednesday morning, a family member hiked out of the canyon in search of help; a few hours later park rangers were alerted to the stranded group’s plight.

A 15-member search and rescue team was quickly assembled and set out to locate the family. Rescuers were able to reach the party late Wednesday night after hiking for several hours.

The late hour made a safe rescue impossible, Baltrus said, so the team stayed and assisted the woman until sunrise Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, a Grand Canyon National Park short-haul helicopter team arrived just after daybreak and sent a rescuer down to the woman. The woman was extracted out of the canyon and transported by air a short distance to a waiting ambulance.

The woman was then transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George in stable condition while rescuers made their way on foot to Chamberlain’s Ranch.

“Because of where she was located, the rescue could not be completed until morning,” Zion National Park Chief Ranger Daniel Fagergren said. “This rescue took 15 search and rescue team members, including Rockville/Springdale Fire and the Grand Canyon helicopter crew.”

The Narrows is the narrowest section of Zion Canyon, with walls over a thousand feet high. It is one of the most popular areas in Zion National Park; however, even short trips can be risky and require careful planning, according to information from the National Park Service.

The National Park Service provides information on current conditions, weather forecasts, and flash flood potential ratings, as well as safety tips and related information that can be found here.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or first responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Ed. note: Second reference age of the woman subject in this story was incorrectly given as 68 years old, corrected to 65 years old, per information provided by the park.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.


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  • CaliGirl October 21, 2016 at 8:03 am

    “A 65-year-old woman was transported to the hospital Thursday morning after spending two nights stranded in The Narrows in Zion National Park.” “During the night the 68-year old woman began suffering from a possible medical issue that prevented her from continuing the hike.”

    So is she 65 or 68?

    • Joyce Kuzmanic October 21, 2016 at 8:24 am

      Park officials said she is 65 years old, CaliGirl; second reference corrected.
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

    • .... October 21, 2016 at 8:37 am

      LOL. ! Who cares 65 or 68 get a life Cali crybaby !

      • Real Life October 21, 2016 at 10:10 am

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        • ladybugavenger October 21, 2016 at 10:49 am

          teheehee (ladybug laughs in quietly LIQ)

          • .... October 21, 2016 at 11:26 am

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            HaHaaa (cough cough) Hahaaa

        • .... October 21, 2016 at 11:25 am

          You telling somebody to get a life ? come back to us when you get some professional help and then we can explain the irony

          • Real Life October 21, 2016 at 8:07 pm

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          • .... October 21, 2016 at 10:22 pm

            Slow Down RealLowlife and maybe we can help you with your anger issues

        • Bob October 21, 2016 at 12:43 pm

          oh snap, Dump! you got told! lol

          • .... October 21, 2016 at 4:59 pm

            Oh snap Dumbob you made another statement. better get some rest

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