Search and Rescue retrieves lost hiker near Hellhole Trail

Red Mountain overlooking Ivins, Utah, circa 2014 | Photo by Photo Teas, St. George News

IVINS – A 62-year-old Chicago woman was transported out of the Hellhole Trail area near Ivins by the Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Thursday afternoon after getting lost while on a hike.

The woman had started out on the Red Mountain Trail and intended to connect into the Gunsight Trail that leads into Ivins, where she would be picked up by her mother, Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Darrell Cashin said.

However, the woman ended up wandering off the trail and getting lost. Realizing she was lost, and running low on water, the woman contacted 911. Dispatchers were able to get GPS coordinates to her position, and the woman was advised to stay in place and wait for emergency responders.

Cashin said the trails in the Red Mountain area aren’t always marked, which can lead to hikers getting lost.

“It happens a lot, unfortunately,” he said.

Search and Rescue personnel began arriving at a staging area about 4:30 p.m. Due to the rugged terrain between the hiker and the responders, the Life Flight helicopter at Dixie Regional Medical Center was called in to pinpoint the woman’ s location and then take responders as near to the site as as possible.

The operation itself was “nothing overly dramatic,” Cashin said. The whole thing lasted about four hours as responders helped the woman out of the area. She had experienced some dehydration but ended up refusing medical care. The incident wrapped up about 8:30 p.m.

Though the incident turned out to be relatively minor, Cashin said a primary challenge that Search and Rescue operations face in the area is the terrain. If they hadn’t had access to the Life Flight helicopter, the operation could have lasted half the night.

“It’s where (the hikers) end up being that’s the problem,” he said.

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Copyright St. George News, Inc., 2014 , all rights reserved.

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  • DMR August 15, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    “Cashin said the trails in the Red Mountain area aren’t always marked, which can lead to hikers getting lost.”

    Here’s a thought: improve the trails. Just sayin’

  • THAT GUY August 16, 2014 at 3:04 am

    How about you never hike alone, and know the trail before you hike. Or make sure your partener knows the trail.

  • Zonkerb September 15, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    How about staying home and hiking in your neck of the woods

  • indy-vfr September 16, 2014 at 7:15 am

    We see many “hikers” out there who appear to be ill prepared! Often with young children in tow only wearing flip flops, no head cover or water! Go figure.

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