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Crews rescue missing hiker in Zion National Park

The Canyon Overlook Trail was temporarily closed for search and rescue.

(National Park Service) Search crews based at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada rescued 79-year-old John Fiske Burg, who hadn't been seen since Tuesday.

Search crews rescued a 79-year-old hiker on Saturday who’d been missing for four days.

Pilots at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada found John Fiske Burg above Lodge Canyon in Zion National Park around 3:30 p.m. He was treated on scene and transported to St. George for further medical attention, according to the National Park Service.

Before he was last seen leaving the La Quinta hotel in Kanab on Tuesday, Burg told a group of hikers he was staying with that he might hike the Canyon Overlook Trail. His vehicle was found at the trailhead Friday, and he was reported overdue on Wednesday, according to a National Park Service news release.

The release states that Burg made a 911 phone call to Washington County and also left his family voicemail on Friday.

“These phone calls provided the [search and rescue] operations the insight needed to increase operations and target specific areas of Zion National Park,” the release states. “The 911 call he made was critical and saved his life.”

Zion National Park thanked the Nellis Air Force Base, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Search and Rescue K-9 Units and Drone Teams, and staff and volunteers who supported the effort.

The hike to the Canyon Overlook is short but can be steep in some spots and includes long drop-offs, according to the Zion National Park website and the park service. The moderate mile-long trek offers views of the Pine Creek slot canyon below and takes about an hour, round trip.

Zion is one of the most popular national parks in the United States, according to the National Park Service, and more than 3 million people visited the park in 2020.

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