Deadly flash flood in Zion National Park

Credit: Mia & Steve Mestdagh

Credit: Mia & Steve Mestdagh

News

Author: Steven Shaw
Date: 09.17.15

Update:2:37 PM MST 9/17/15

ZION NATIONAL PARK – Rangers in Zion National Park have found the seventh victim of a deadly flash flood in Keyhole Canyon.  The park has not released the names of the victims, but TrailMob has learned they are from California and Nevada. We will continue to update this story as details become available.  

Update: 2:54 PM MST 9/16/15

ZION NATIONAL PARK – Zion National Park search and rescue rangers have found another body from Monday's deadly flash flood.  Crews are stil searching for one missing person. 

 

Update: 9:21 PM MST 9/15/15

ZION NATIONAL PARK – Park officials have confirmed a fourth person body has been found in the deadly Keyhole Canyon flash flood. Three others are still missing. 

Original Article:

ZION NATIONAL PARK – Three people have died and four are still missing after being caught in flash flooding Monday evening in Zion National Park.  Rangers received a report of seven people canyoneering in Keyhole Canyon shortly before the flooding began said Holly Baker, Zion Spokeswoman.  Rangers located their vehicles Monday evening and started the search Tuesday morning after it became clear the hikers had not left the canyon.

The bodies of three confirmed dead have been found but four are still missing according to park officials.  “As the search continues for the missing hikers, high water levels and continued rain showers pose further flash flooding concerns and have hampered searchers’ access to the technical portions of the canyoneering route,” Baker said.  “Rescuers are being forced to wait until waters recede to search parts of the canyon and may not be able to get into certain areas until Thursday.”

Zion is not releasing the names of the victims pending notification of kin. Zion Spokeswoman Holly Baker did tell TrailMob that the group “of seven is believed to be composed of four men and three women from California and Nevada” and “all in their 40s and 50s.”

Keyhole Canyon is a short, narrow slot canyon in the east side of the park.  The canyon narrows to 6 ft across in places. Baker said it received 0.63 inches of rain in one hour Monday, which triggered massive flash flooding.  A permit is required for canyoneering and hiking in the canyon and visitors must be prepared for several rappels and to swim through several pools of water. Zion National Park receives nearly 3 million visitors a year, the most of any of Utah’s five National Parks.

We will update this story as details become available right here at TrailMob.com and on Social Media @TrailMob.