Garfield County, Utah (ABC4 News) – Search teams from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and Rangers from Bryce Canyon rescued a missing hiker on Friday who survived a frigid night wearing only shorts and a t-shirt.
Garfield County says their dispatchers received a call after 39-year-old John Harm Wiersema, of Idaho, hadn’t been seen since April 29th. Wiersema went for a 2-hour hike in the Bryce Canyon’s Swamp Canyon Trail area. Search teams located the hiker’s empty vehicle on Friday and called in help from the Department of Public Safety’s helicopter.
Search and Rescue teams eventually located Wiersema. He was suffering from dehydration and minor scrapes and bruises. He was transported to the Garfield County Hospital. Police say Wiersema got lost on the hike and wandered trying to find his way out of the area. The Swamp Canyon area had freezing conditions Thursday night and received snow.
Authorities say to always be prepared for a hike with appropriate gear, clothing, food and water and to always have maps of the area.