1 hiker found dead, 1 rescued, 1 still missing in southern Utah slot canyon

A man missing from a Kane County slot canyon has been found dead and another is still missing.

The Kane County Sheriff’s Office was initially looking for three hikers who were reported overdue after entering Buckskin Gulch Monday morning.

A helicopter crew sent into the gorge was able to spot debris and they eventually located one person in the group and extricated them from the gorge. The man had a bad cold and was taken to a local hospital.

Crews continued to search for the other two men until around 4 a.m. Tuesday before leaving. The search for the men, who reportedly had prior experience at Buckskin Gulch, later resumed.

Around 6:40 p.m., the sheriff’s office confirmed that one of the missing hikers was found dead. The other was still missing.

In addition to this search, the sheriff’s office said it had been dispatched in the past 48 hours to rescue at least 10 other people from the same area, located near “The Wave” on the Utah-Arizona border.

At over 20 miles, Buckskin Gulch is considered one of the most dangerous slot canyons in the US, with very few access or extraction points along the route.

After the massive snowpack the state received this winter, spring flooding was a major problem. Utah slot canyons can fill up quickly with flood water, creating dangerous conditions for those hiking in them.

Conditions are not expected to improve as severe storms are expected to hit the area later Tuesday. A flood watch is in effect for nearby Zion National Park at 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday afternoon. Excessive runoff is expected to result in high water flows throughout the park.

This article is published by the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of Utah news organizations dedicated to educating readers across the state.

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2023/03/15/1-hiker-found-dead-1-rescued-1/ 1 hiker found dead, 1 rescued, 1 still missing in southern Utah slot canyon

Justin Scaccy

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