Utah County rescue crews kept busy with injured, stranded hikers in separate canyons

Photos: Utah County Sheriff's Office/Twitter

PROVO, Utah, April 7, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah County Search and Rescue crews were kept busy Thursday evening after one hiker was injured at Bridal Veil Falls and another ended up stranded and cold in American Fork Canyon.

Crews responded to reports that man had been injured while climbing or hiking at Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon about 5:10 p.m., Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said in a Facebook video.

“We don’t know exactly what happened, whether he fell and was injured or whether some rock fell on him,” Cannon said. “He has sustained some very serious head injuries. … He’s not doing well.”

The man sustained a depressed skull fracture and an occipital fracture on the right side of his head, as well as a broken jaw, Cannon said. The man was unconscious following the injury but regained consciousness while being treated by paramedics, he said.

Cannon later told Gephardt Daily the man is expected to survive.

Search and rescue crews moved the man to a safe location and prepared him to be transported by helicopter to an area hospital, Cannon said. The Facebook video shows Life Flight paramedics successfully hoisting the man out of the area.

Cannon said loose rocks coming down are “one of the real dangers this time of year” in the Bridal Veil Falls area.

Another danger this time of year is the lure of pleasant weather, he said.

“You can have some really good weather where it’s short-sleeve weather in the valley, and even in the canyon it may be cool or not too cold,” Cannon told Gephardt Daily. “But if a weather pattern changes, the sun goes down, or it takes you longer to get back than you thought, it can become a life-threatening situation.”

Cannon said a hiker in American Fork Canyon got into trouble about 5:30 p.m. when he hiked into a “tough area” where there’s still snow.

“He got himself into a position where he realized it was going to take a long time to get down,” Cannon said, “and he had shorts on.”

The Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter was able to hoist the man to safety, he said.

Utah County Search and Rescue crews were split between the two operations Thursday evening.

Cannon also offered a little advice to hikers and others who will be spending time in Utah’s outdoors as the weather gets warmer: “Just be prepared.”

“Make sure you’re dressed well, people know where you’re going, and you’ve got a cellphone with a good battery,” he said in the Facebook video.


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