LITTLE WILD HORSE CANYON, Utah (ABC4) – One year ago, a flash flood in South-Central Utah swept through the Little Wild Horse Canyon and took the lives of 2 young children.
The flash flood occurred due to rain showers over the San Rafael Swell a few miles away, where it later ended up in the slot canyon. This created a very dangerous flash flood situation for hikers in the canyon, causing many to scramble up to higher ground. One family was unfortunately caught in the roaring waters, and their two young children did not survive.
This unfortunate event is a stark reminder for many that unexpected weather can become deadly when out in the backcountry. The saying ‘know before you go’ is even more important during the summer months when recreators are out in the elements.
Park officials and agencies around the state want recreators to be prepared when going out and to always have a plan in case inclement weather strikes.
Lt. Brody Young, a law enforcement officer with the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation, gives us one tip on how to best be prepared when out in a slot canyon.
“A good practice to do while you’re hiking is to ask yourself you know, ‘OK, if a flash flood hits now, where could I go? Do I run back a couple hundred yards where it opened up again and get to a high ground, or maybe there’s something up ahead.’ You could you know track yourself as you go through the slot canyons.”
Having a plan ready before a potentially dangerous situation occurs can be life saving. Also, staying informed with the latest weather forecast is important as weather upstream can impact you in a very short amount of time.
Other safety tips to take into account when going outdoors is to always have plenty of water and snacks in case a trip takes longer than expected, be sure to let someone know when and where you are going and at what time you should expected to return, have extra clothes in case you have to stay the night, and carry a first aid kit.
To get your local forecast from Utah’s Most Accurate Weather Team, click here.
To find more tips on how to hike safely, click here.
For more information on the potential for flash flooding in Utah, click here.