NPS: Zion hiker rescued after spending hours stuck in quicksand

An Arizona man with his leg mired in quicksand at Zion National Park was the subject of a two-day rescue over the weekend.

According to the National Park Service, the man, 34, and his companion were three hours up the Left Fork Trail, known as The Subway route, when his leg was buried up to the knee in quicksand and could not free himself Saturday afternoon, Feb. 16.

The woman with whom he was hiking left the man with warm-weather gear and clothing and hiked for three hours before she had cell phone service and called 911, according to NPS.

The park service said Zion Search and Rescue hiked to the man’s companion at the trailhead. The woman was treated after exhibiting signs of hypothermia after the lengthy hike.

It took several more hours to reach the man, who was stable “but suffering from exposure, hypothermia, and extremity injuries.” The NPS said rangers spent two hours trying to free the man from the quicksand in the middle of North Creek.

Once they did so, rescuers warmed the man’s leg. They spent a frigid night with the man as four inches of snow fell.

A Utah Department of Public Safety crew responded Sunday morning, Feb. 17, but the weather didn’t clear until the afternoon and a hoist rescue operation was mounted.

Zion Public Information Officer Aly Baltrus said winter conditions at Zion and other national parks can make normally easy hikes extreme.