Woman, 31, hiking in Zion National Park dies overnight in Narrows as man goes for help

A 31-year-old woman on an overnight hike in Zion National Park’s the Narrows died Wednesday after her husband left her for help as temperatures dropped.

On Wednesday morning, shuttle drivers reported that visitors had encountered an injured man and an unresponsive woman in the Narrows section of the Utah park.

The Zion National Park Search and Rescue Team responded and found the man on the paved Riverside Walk trail.

He was then transported to the Zion Emergency Operations Center.

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Canyon Overlook at Zion National Park on January 15, 2021 in Springdale, Utah.

Canyon Overlook at Zion National Park on January 15, 2021 in Springdale, Utah.
(Josh Brasted/Getty Images)

Further up the Narrows, others found the woman near the Virgin River.

The Narrows is the narrowest section of Zion Canyon, which the Park Service describes as a gorge with walls a thousand feet high.

While first responders administered first aid, they determined she was dead.

According to the Park Service, the 33-year-old man and 31-year-old woman – a married couple – had started their permitted 16-mile top-down trek through the Narrows on Tuesday.

The man reported that they became dangerously cold overnight and experienced symptoms consistent with hypothermia.

Search and rescue training in Zion National Park

Search and rescue training in Zion National Park
(National Park Service)

Temperatures in the area reached below 20 degrees Fahrenheit late Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service in Kanab.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Utah Office of the Medical Examiner and the National Park Service are still investigating the woman’s cause of death.

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After stopping about a mile and a half from the north end of Riverside Walk, the man continued to get help early Wednesday while the woman stayed.

Visitors explore The Narrows along the Virgin River on July 15, 2014 in Zion National Park, Utah.  Zion National Park is among the state's top tourist destinations.

Visitors explore The Narrows along the Virgin River on July 15, 2014 in Zion National Park, Utah. Zion National Park is among the state’s top tourist destinations.
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Park rangers found him there as other visitors helped him down the trail.

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Several visitors further up the Narrows administered CPR to the woman before search and rescue members arrived.

“The National Park Service appreciates the efforts of these visitors,” the agency said in a statement.

The response involved more than 20 search and rescue team members.

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