ST. GEORGE – Kane County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue teams had a busy day last week when two separate groups of hikers Thursday either got stuck or lost.
The first call for help came from two hikers who had been in the Hole in the Rock area most of the day, according to a statement from Kane County Search and Rescue posted on Facebook Monday. The hikers’ vehicle was parked at the Egypt trailhead.
“Due to losing daylight, the two hikers attempted to take a short cut back to their vehicle,” officials said in the statement. “This turned out to be a bad decision.”
The hikers made their way to a slick rock mountain peak but then were unable to get back down. By this point they were out of water and supplies and were not equipped to stay overnight.
The hikers were able to call authorities, and GPS coordinates were taken from the calls for two possible locations.
Search and rescue teams were called in to assist and responded to the area of Hole in the Rock Road. The response here was “very lengthy due to the distance and terrain,” according to the statement.
The hikers were located at the second set of coordinates after the teams hiked approximately 3 miles in.
A helicopter with the Utah Department of Public Safety was ultimately called in to fly the hikers to safety due to risk posed to the search and rescue team and hikers by the ruggedness of the terrain.
“The hikers were extremely cold and dehydrated but in good condition,” the statement read.
A second call came in the same day for a separate incident involving hikers lost somewhere between The Wave and the trailhead parking lot. However, search and rescue personnel were unable to locate the hikers after many hours of searching.
“It was later learned that the hikers somehow made their way to the north side of the Buckskin Gulch,” the statement read.
“Deputies searched Coyote Buttes North area and located the lost individuals. Deputies were unable to access them.”
This time Classic Lifeguard Air Medical Services was called in with its medical helicopter to fly out the hikers.
“As temperatures get warmer, please remember to pack plenty of water and supplies when out hiking our many amazing areas of Kane County,” the Kane County Sheriff’s Office said in the statement. “Have a plan and tell others where your (sic) going. Be safe out there.”
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