One man who was missing inside a slot canyon in Kane County 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 on Monday morning.
A helicopter crew sent to the canyon was able to spot debris, and they eventually located one person in the group and extricated them from the canyon. The man was severely cold and was transported to a local hospital.
Crews continued to search for the other two men until about 4 a.m. Tuesday before breaking. The search later resumed for the men, who reportedly had previous experience in Buckskin Gulch.
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 over the last 48 hours it has been sent out to rescue at least 10 other people from the same area, which is near “The Wave” on the Utah-Arizona border.
At over 20 miles, Buckskin Gulch is considered to be one of the most dangerous slot canyons in the U.S., with very few access or extraction points along the route.
Flooding has been a major concern heading into the spring after the enormous snowpack the state has received this winter. Utah slot canyons can quickly fill with floodwaters, creating dangerous conditions for those hiking inside.
Conditions will not be improving as heavy storms are forecast to move into the area later Tuesday. A flood watch will go into 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 through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state.