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Group of up to 60 hikers were left stranded in Utah park after flooding wiped out the roads

Group of up to 60 hikers, including a mother and a six-month-old baby, were stranded in Utah when flash floods swept away the roads and destroyed their pickup trucks

  • A group of up to 60 hikers in a Utah national park were stranded last Thursday after being stranded on a mountain by flash flooding
  • The flooding started around noon and it wasn’t until late at night before everyone was able to safely exit the Capitol Reef National Park.
  • A helicopter has been deployed to get some hikers out of the affected areas
  • A park ranger said it was the worst flash flood she’d seen in 15 years working at the park

A group of up to 60 hikers in Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park, including a mother with a six-month-old baby, were stranded on a mountain after severe flooding left them stranded.

Orrin Allen, Noah Gremmert and Cooper Allen described their experience when they were trapped on a mountain during a church camp last Thursday due to severe flooding.

The hikers were approaching the top of the mountain as it began to rain before rapidly accelerating into a flash flood.

“We wander down, we’re having a blast, we see water pouring out the sides of the canyon and it looks really cool. I follow one of the falls down with my eyes, and I was like, “Oh shoot, the road is gone,” Orrin told Allen KUTV

The hikers soon realized that the trail on which they arrived at the mountain was now submerged in water. Three of the five trucks they used to get to the mountain were a total loss and two cars were swept away by the water.

Utah's Capitol Reef National Park suffered severe flooding last week that left more than 50 hikers stranded on a mountain

Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park suffered severe flooding last week that left more than 50 hikers stranded on a mountain

A photo posted by the Wayne County Sherriff's Office shows some of the damage flooding has caused in Capitol Reef National Park

A photo posted by the Wayne County Sherriff’s Office shows some of the damage flooding has caused in Capitol Reef National Park

Along with the three young men, another 50 to 60 people were trapped on the mountain, including a mother with a six-month-old baby. After waiting three hours for the storm, the group realized they had to find a way back down.

Park rangers have said that when the flooding started around noon they were “not sure” whether park visitors had managed to “get back to their vehicles and out of the flash flooding.”

Three group leaders moved forward to find a safe passage downstairs for those trapped, and the group had to work together to make sure everyone got out safely.

Allen said there were two “five to six foot drops” for the group to navigate, as well as a narrow “4 1/2 foot” passage between a rock face and a steep drop-off to the raging river below.

A Capitol Reef National Park Service tweet announcing the flooding in the park

A Capitol Reef National Park Service tweet announcing the flooding in the park

The group of hikers, including a mother with a six-month-old baby, lined up to get down the mountain.

A park ranger told the group it was the worst flash flooding they’d seen in the park in 15 years.

The severity of the flooding necessitated the use of a Department of Public Safety helicopter to rescue some hikers.

No one was seriously injured, according to the Wayne County Sherriff’s Office, although some hikers were treated for minor cuts and lacerations. A total of seven or eight vehicles were damaged or destroyed.

The Sherriff’s Office said that if it hadn’t been for the rangers who “worked diligently to clear the roads, make them passable,” the stranded hikers might have “stayed there overnight.”

A video taken by the hikers shows three trucks nearly submerged in the flowing water

A video taken by the hikers shows three trucks nearly submerged in the flowing water

An aerial view of the damage to the trucks after the water receded

An aerial view of the damage to the trucks after the water receded

On Sunday, a statement from the park said visitors should “expect construction equipment, large trucks, flaggers and a 15-minute delay” from last week’s flooding.

Capitol Reef isn’t the only national park to be hit by severe flooding recently. Yellowstone National Park, one of the largest in the country, has had between 2.5 and 4 inches of rain in June.

The rain led to gushing water that forced Yellowstone park officials to order more than 10,000 visitors to leave on June 14. The flood caused critical damage to the park, forcing rescues by plane and boat, washing away homes and swept a workers’ bunkerhouse miles away.

Officials say the damage could cost more than $1 billion to repair and years of reconstruction efforts.

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