Science

Woman found dead in Zion National Park, husband rescued

A woman was found dead Wednesday, officials said, and her husband — who was rescued — said the couple suffered hypothermia while hiking in Utah’s Zion National Park.

The National Park Service said in a news release Thursday that the two were discovered Wednesday morning by visitors in the Narrows — a gorge believed to be the narrowest section of Zion Canyon.

The park service said the 31-year-old woman died at the scene, while her 33-year-old husband was taken to the Zion Emergency Operations Center for treatment. No name was given.

The park service said the couple had given permission for a 16-mile hike on Tuesday, but overnight, they became “dangerously cold and with symptoms consistent with hypothermia.”

FILE – A trail along the valley floor in The Narrows is seen in Zion National Park in Utah, Nov. 6, 2019.

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The husband told park rangers that, on Wednesday morning, the couple stopped about a mile and a half from the north end of the Riverside Walk, a paved trail that leads from the Temple of Sinawawa to the Narrows. The Park Service said the husband went to get help, while his wife stayed behind.

Visitors who came to the man helped bring him down, while others tended to his wife and administered CPR until search and rescue personnel arrived on the scene.

Along with the Park Service, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner are investigating the woman’s death.

The Narrows is one of the most popular areas in Zion, according to the Park Service. However, hiking to it requires people to walk across the Virgin River, which is only 20 to 30 feet wide in some areas. Depending on the time of year, the Park Service explains on its website, the Virgin River “can range in depth from ankle to full swim.”

“Flash flooding and hypothermia are constant hazards,” the park service writes.

Hikers are not allowed to hike the 16-mile Virgin River without a wilderness permit.

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