An “extremely lucky” injured hiker was rescued from The Subway slot canyon on Sunday morning after spending the night stranded there through flash flood warnings.
Rangers received a 911 call about 5:30 p.m. Saturday, reporting that a hiker had badly injured his ankle at the bottom of the first rappel and could not continue, said Zion spokeswoman Aly Baltrus.
A rescue team prepared to go into the canyon, but a storm was forecast as they were about to launch, Baltrus said. The crew made their way to some hoodoos above where the hiker was stranded and saw the area was highly prone to flash flooding, Baltrus said. Rescuers were forced to wait out the flood warnings while the hiker waited below, Baltrus said. The flood warnings passed late Saturday, allowing rescuers to drop into the canyon.
“They stabilized [the hiker] and hunkered down for the night,” Baltrus said. “We were monitoring the weather.”
On Sunday morning, the crew pulled the hiker out of the canyon, and he was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center for treatment, Baltrus said.
Baltrus reiterated park warnings to stay clear of slot canyons whenever rain threatens.
“If someone gets hurt, there is no way rescuers can go in afterward until it is safe,” she said.