Missing hikers located
Two missing hikers were found in good condition after becoming lost in the San Rafael Desert. Emery County Sheriff's Office Dispatch received a call at 1:45 p.m. on Monday stating that a 27 year-old male and a 22 year-old female had set out for a day hike on Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. and were due back Sunday evening. They did not return, and did not show up for work on Monday morning. Family advised that the parties' vehicle should be at the Baptist Draw trailhead.
A ranger from Goblin Valley State Park located the parties' vehicle at the trailhead. Emery County Sheriff's Office personnel, Search and Rescue Team members and a DPS helicopter were dispatched and searched the area throughout the day Monday, concentrating on the Baptist Draw area. Personnel from Emery County Sheriff's Office aboard the helicopter reported they had flown the length of Baptist Draw and surrounding canyons with good visibility and had not spotted anyone.
At approximately 10:30 p.m., personnel aboard the helicopter using FLIR equipment detected a fire ring with hot coals. There was some gear near the fire ring and an arrow pointing south.
At approximately 11 p.m., dispatch received a call from a passing motorist stating that a Greyhound bus on I-70 was pulled over alongside the freeway and had picked up a man that had been lost in the wilderness for two days. A deputy located the bus, pulled it over, and took the man with him to aid in the search for the missing female. He advised that his female hiking companion was approximately 13 miles south of I-70 on Muddy Creek.
Deputies located the female at 11:30 p.m. The male hiker explained that while hiking on Sunday, he had become concerned about the gathering storm clouds and the potential of flash flooding in the slot canyon, and decided to move off trail to higher ground. As they continued hiking, they became disoriented. Other than slight dehydration, the parties were in good condition and refused medical treatment.
Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk would like to stress the importance of being prepared for unforeseen circumstances by packing adequate water, food and clothing. Always make notification of where you are beginning your trip, your intended route of travel and when you are expected to return.