CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK — Three overdue hikers were rescued Saturday in Capitol Reef National Park after they embarking on a hike four days earlier.
The search was complicated because their green car was parked among trees and could not be seen from the air.
According to the Garfield County Sheriff's Office, two men and one woman in their 20s from Colorado set out on a hike on Mulie Twist Trail on Wednesday.
Garfield County dispatchers received a call about the overdue hikers about 7 p.m. Thursday and Garfield County Search and Rescue and national park rangers launched a search.
The trailhead was checked but searchers were initially unable to find the party's vehicle until Saturday. National park rangers located the green car parked off the side of the road under trees on Notum Road, where it was not visible to searchers flying overhead, according to a Facebook post by the Garfield County Sheriff's Office.
After locating the vehicle, the search commenced in Strike Valley Slot Canyon with the state Department of Public Safety helicopter, Classic Helicopter, Garfield County Search and Rescue, along with national park rangers participating.
Air searchers spotted the hikers in the slot canyon. The hikers told searchers that it started to rain as they hiked into the canyon and they got wet, cold and fatigued. The female hiker developed hypothermia so the group decided to wait for help, the Facebook post states.
Rope rescue teams from Garfield County and the national park eventually extracted the hikers safely.
According to the Garfield County Sheriff's Office, hikers need to be aware of weather reports, carry a GPS device, study the area they will be hiking and prepare for all weather conditions.