Hiking News

Hikers ‘isolated’ by flash flooding in Zion slot canyon, more flooding expected this weekend

An undated photo of the entrance to Zion National Park. Several hikers were swept away by flash flooding while hiking the Narrows in Zion National Park near the Temple of Sinawava prompting a Search a Rescue operation Friday afternoon. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

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SPRINGDALE, Washington County — There are no known missing hikers after Zion National Park rangers responded to a report that multiple hikers were swept away by flash flooding while hiking the Narrows near the Temple of Sinawava Friday afternoon, park officials said.

Park rangers were alerted to the incident at around 2:15 p.m. with a report of “multiple visitors being swept off their feet by flash flooding,” said Jonathan Shafer, a spokesman for Zion National Park.

Immediately following the report, Shafer said that rangers were sent to assess the situation, at which time, a “large scale response” began. Shafer explained that after rangers hiked up Riverside Walk, they found several hikers on high ground “isolated by high water,” who were then directed to stay in place.

Shafer added that while there are no known missing hikers, those rangers are currently interviewing every group of visitors entering Riverside Walk to make sure that they aren’t missing anyone in their party. Additionally, he said rescuers remain along the slot canyon watching for anyone who might be in the water.

Earlier in the afternoon, Shafer told KSL of a report of a flash flood warning that was issued by the National Weather Service at approximately 1:30 p.m., noting that when this happens, slot canyons like the Narrows are closed to hikers.

The National Weather Service also issued a statement Friday afternoon warning of an increased risk of flash flooding for southern Utah’s National Parks and recreational areas, asking visitors to be aware.

“Make sure to check in with local visitor centers or ranger stations before heading out and have a plan if threatening weather approaches,” the agency tweeted.

With more flash flooding expected this weekend, hikers are encouraged to check their local weather prior to heading out.

Full seven-day forecasts for areas across Utah can be found online at the KSL Weather Center.

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Arianne Brown is a breaking news reporter for KSL.com. She also enjoys finding and sharing stories of everyday Utahns, a talent she developed over several years of freelance writing for various Utah news outlets.

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