A woman was found dead on Wednesday and her husband, who was rescued, said the couple suffered hypothermia during a hiking trip in Utah’s Zion National Park.
The two were spotted by a visitor on Wednesday morning. Narrows — The National Park Service said in a news release Thursday that the canyon is believed to be the narrowest part of Zion Canyon.
A 31-year-old woman died at the scene and her 33-year-old husband was taken to the Zion Emergency Operations Center for treatment, according to the Park Service. Her name was not provided.
The couple set off on their permitted 16-mile hike on Tuesday, but during the night they “became dangerously cold and experienced symptoms consistent with hypothermia.”
Her husband told park rangers that the couple stopped early Wednesday morning about 1.5 miles from the northern end of the Riverside Walk, a paved path that runs from Sinawava Temple to the Narrows. Parks officials said the husband kept asking for help and his wife was away.
Visitors who ran into the man helped him off the road, while others went to his wife and performed CPR until search and rescue arrived on the scene.
Along with the Parks Service, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Utah Coroner’s Office are investigating the woman’s death.
The Narrows is one of Zion’s most popular areas, according to the Park Service. However, hiking involves walking the Virgin River, which is only 20-30 feet wide in some places. Depending on the time of year, the Virgin River is “ankle-deep to full swim,” the Parks Authority explains on its website.
“Flash floods and hypothermia are a constant hazard,” writes the Park Service.
Hikers are not permitted on the 16-mile Virgin River Hike without wilderness permission.