WAYNE COUNTY — A group of Scouts and leaders from Manti are safe after getting stuck overnight during a hiking trip in the slot canyons of isolated Wayne County.
The group of six boys ages 14 years old to 18 years old, along with three adult leaders were due back Saturday evening, but failed to arrived when scheduled. A concerned family member contacted authorities who then launched a search and rescue effort.
According to Wayne County Sheriff’s deputy Matthew Webster, the group was hiking in a slot canyon area called “Pandora’s Box.” The area was made up of slick sandstone with some narrow sections that were no more than a foot wide, he said.
“It’s for more experienced canyoneers,” Webster said. “It’s not necessarily a beginner’s canyon.”
Authorities set up a command post and were preparing to launch their search when part of the group made it back to safety late Saturday night.
Webster said two adults and three Scouts managed to hike out of the canyon and called for help. The remaining two adults and two Scouts stayed the night in the canyon.
Search and rescue crews began working early Sunday morning to locate the remaining group members who were found just after noon.
The group was flown by helicopter to safety. No injuries were reported, Webster said.