Southern Utah News Articles
Hiker perishes in Spooky Gulch
On June 27, 2017, Garfield County dispatch received a call at approximately 7 p.m. about an overdue individual who had been hiking in Spooky Gulch. Spooky Gulch is a popular slot canyon located east of Hole in the Rock Road in Kane County.
A Garfield County deputy responded to the trailhead where he met with the missing individual’s wife. She stated that she and her husband, 62-year-old Lane Friedman from Alabama, and two children had been hiking in the slot canyon when they came to a rocky spot in the canyon and decided not to continue. While returning to the trailhead, they became disoriented and made some wrong turns. The two children also became ill from the heat and the family took shade under some trees.
Mr. Friedman decided to try and hike to the top of a nearby hill to see if he could get his bearings and see which way to go. That was the last time Mrs. Friedman saw her husband. After some rest, she and the children began hiking out and eventually made it back to their vehicle at the Dry Fork Trailhead. She borrowed a phone from some other hikers and called for help.
When the deputy arrived, it was late in the evening and getting dark and unsafe to start a ground search. The Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter was requested to help with the search the next morning. The helicopter began searching at about 9 a.m. on June 28. The helicopter located Mr. Friedman about 1 p.m. and it was confirmed he was deceased.
His body was transported by the helicopter to Escalante. A medical investigator from the Kane County Sheriff’s Office responded to Escalante to continue the investigation. Mr. Friedman was transported to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office to determine a cause of death.
Kane County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and Utah Department of Public Safety for their assistance in this incident. They would also caution anyone who will be visiting our many canyons to come prepared for hot, dry weather. Make sure you have plenty of water, appropriate clothing, and emergency supplies in case you get lost. We would always encourage the use of GPS units and consider a GPS locator device.