Hiker Dies in Zion Narrows

Flash flooding trapped the 34-year-old man in a canyon.
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Flash flooding trapped the 34-year-old man in a canyon.

A 34-year-old California man died in the Narrows area of Zion National Park Sunday after flash flooding trapped him in a canyon.

In a statement, park officials said Monday that Douglas Yoshi Vo and his companion entered the Narrows early on Saturday morning, but abandoned their hike once rain began to fall. The river quickly rose to flood level and the two men became trapped on opposite sides of a canyon, unable to communicate across the rushing water. After waiting for nearly 6 hours, Vo's companion swam downstream, reaching a ranger station in the early evening. The Zion rangers did not immediately mount a search for Vo because he had been left in a seemingly safe location and the river was still running dangerously high.

However, Vo was not at his last known location when his companion returned the following day, prompting a rescue effort. Rangers located Vo's body around 2 PM near the Riverside Walk section of the Virgin River. No cause of death has been released.

Utah experienced record-breaking rainfall in some areas over the weekend. BACKPACKER contributor Eric Hanson was in Zion on Saturday and took footage of the deluge:

Read more: NPS | Salt Lake Tribune