Hiker rescued from Alcatraz Canyon

WAYNE COUNTY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - At approximately 5:46 pm, Wayne County Sheriff's Office was notified of a stranded hiker in Alcatraz Canyon located in Canyonlands, near Hanksville.

Wayne County Deputies, the Wayne County SAR High Angle Rescue Team, and Wayne County EMT's responded. Based upon the nature of the rescue, the assistance of the Utah State DPS helicopter was requested.

Matt Hickenlooper, 32, and Zachary Layton, 30, both from Taylorsville
were canyoneering in Alcatraz Canyon.

They had finished the 200 foot rappel into the canyon and were stemming their way through the remaining slots in the canyon when Hickenlooper slipped and became wedged in a slot. This happened around 2:30 pm.

Layton attempted to work Hickenlooper free from the slot, but was unsuccessful. At this point, Layton and Hickenlooper decided that Layton needed to work his way out of the canyon and get some help.

After leaving Hickenlooper with water, a hoodie, and an emergency blanket, Layton worked his way back to the trail head where his vehicle was parked. Eventually, Layton was able to find service for his cell phone and alert the Wayne County Sheriff's office of his location and situation.

Deputies from the Wayne County Sheriff's Office, the Wayne County Search & Rescue, Wayne County EMT's and the DPS helicopter arrived at the trail head of Alcatraz Canyon around 10:30 pm and began the rescue operation into the canyon.

The temperature was 30 degrees and falling as the high angle rescue team was flown by DPS helicopter into the canyon where they could start setting up their equipment to make the rappel down to Hickenlooper.

At 1:17 a.m., members of the Wayne County High Angle Rescue Team successfully extricated Hickenlooper from the canyon. It initially appeared that Hickenlooper had not sustained any injuries, however, at the trail head, Hickenlooper began complaining of severe stomach pains. Hickenlooper was taken by the DPS Helicopter to the Hanksville airport, where he was met by members of Hanksville EMS and was transported by ambulance to Castleview Hospital in Price.

More Stories

Don't Miss

Latest News

Video Center