Flash flood in Utah slot canyon sweeps two young hikers away

  A 7-year-old girl has died and her 3-year-old sister is missing after flash flooding sent torrents of water into a narrow canyon in the Utah desert on May 11, 2020.

At least 21 others escaped the flooding in Little Wild Horse Canyon, where the curving sandstone walls are so close at points that hikers must turn sideways to walk through.

The girls were hiking with their parents when the storm hit. The father found the body of the 7-year-old before authorities were called to the scene. Search-and-rescue crews found a piece of clothing believed to belong to the missing 3-year-old in a wash miles from the canyon, the sheriff’s office said. Dozens of searchers were combing the area with the help of helicopters.

Flooding hit after an isolated thunderstorm storm crossed nearby Goblin Valley State Park, known for its otherworldly natural formations.

Little Wild Horse Canyon is about 60 miles west of Moab, and between Capitol Reef and Canyonlands national parks. The trail along the Muddy Creek wash is a popular, family-friendly hike through colorful slot canyons, but flash flooding is a risk.

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Learn more about my hike in Little Wild Horse Canyon in 2014…

 

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