ESCALANTE Three hikers who got stranded on a ledge in southern Utah are safe after a daring helicopter rescue.
The men were plucked from the cliff Tuesday morning but first, rescuers had to be lowered with chain saws to cut enough trees for the helicopter to rest a leg against their ledge.
The hikers Fred Harsh, 32, of Lehi; Mike Macy, 30, of Clarkston, Mich.; and Brad Crawford, 29, of Annapolis, Md. set off into Death Hollow Canyon on Thursday. They were expected to meet a guide at the end of the trail on Sunday but didn't show.
The search began on Monday, when they were spotted just before dark but the helicopter couldn't rescue them right away.
The men were visiting the 25,751-acre Box Death Hollow wilderness area, which contains two tributaries of the Escalante River, just outside the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The hike involved as much wading in stream pools as walking.
Harsh told The Salt Lake Tribune the group got lost, then scaled a 50-foot cliff for safety from potential flash floods, where they found themselves trapped.