Hoodoos at Goblin Valley State Park

Hoodoos at Goblin Valley State Park [Photo courtesy of Rod Martinez]

A search and rescue operation is currently underway in the San Rafael Swell near Goblin Valley State Park, where over 20 hikers were caught in flash floods in Little Wild Horse Canyon, a popular slot canyon, during a thunderstorm.

At least one fatality has been reported by the Emery County Sheriff's Office. Searchers believe the number of vehicles parked at nearby trailheads indicates there are more hikers unaccounted for. 

The hike through Little Wild Horse Canyon is popular with day hikers and families for its stretches of narrow slot canyon. However, narrow canyon walls pose a significant danger if there is a rain storm anywhere in the canyon's drainage area. The storm on May 11 seems to have hit the canyon directly. 

Search and Rescue teams from Emery County, Grand County, Sevier County and Wayne County have joined in the search, centering around Little Wild Horse Canyon. Two helicopters from Classic Air in Moab and one helicopter from the DPS Aero Bureau are also assisting, authorities say. 

This is a developing story and more information will be released as it becomes available. Check our main page at www.moabsunnews.com for the latest.