Hiker falls from ladder at Kanarraville Falls

The Iron County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue crews work Monday to lower a 26-year-old woman down from the lower waterfall at Kanarraville Falls after she injured herself in a hiking accident. – Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office

CEDAR CITY – Emergency responders spent four hours Monday working to bring a female out of Kanarraville Falls after she broke her leg while exploring the slot canyon.

The 26-year-old female from northern Utah was hiking Kanarraville Falls with four friends when she fell from the ladder located at the upper waterfall.

Crews were dispatched to the area around 4 p.m. and finished at about 8 p.m., authorities said.

While the group was only about 2-miles into the canyon, Iron County Sheriff Deputy Tony Gower said, the terrain made it difficult for emergency responders to carry the woman out.

“Before we could get her to a point where we could roll her out on the gurney, we had to use ropes to lower her down from the higher areas,” Gower said. “The terrain through the canyon is rugged and has a lot of boulders and slippery rocks. You’re also walking in water most of the time. So, that’s what took us so long to get her to safety.”

Following the incident, the woman’s friends transported her to Cedar City Hospital for medical treatment.

Authorities believe alcohol may have been a factor in the incident, Iron County Sheriff’s Lt. Del Schlosser said.

Iron County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue crews were assisted by the ropes team, three deputies and two EMTs from Gold Cross Ambulance. There were a total of about 25 emergency responders on scene.

Monday’s search and rescue efforts is the first of its kind at Kanarraville Falls this year but will likely be one of many in the coming months. The area is a popular tourist site known, in part, for the high number of hiking injuries that occur during the warmer season.

The hike to Kanarraville Falls is 5-miles round trip and takes only about two hours. While it’s a short and relatively easy walk, if hikers are not familiar with the slippery terrain it can also be dangerous.

Authorities recommend visitors educate themselves on what attire and shoes to wear when making the hike and to carry lots of water and a small medical kit.

“Many of the calls we get for help could have been prevented if people had an emergency medical kit with them,” Schlosser said.

Visitors can help with the costs of rescues by purchasing a Utah Search and Rescue Assistance card. The proceeds go to county sheriff’s offices throughout the state.

The card also ensures people in need of search and rescue crews will not be charged for the response except under certain circumstances, such as recklessness.

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