Three Las Vegas men were injured on Saturday, July 24, when they were caught in a flash flood while canyoneering in Spry Canyon in Zion National Park. All three were washed over a 40-foot drop, in addition, two of the men were then washed over a 60-foot drop. All three suffered injuries and were rescued by park rangers.

An afternoon thunderstorm developed over Zion National Park, dropping about an inch of rain in less than 30 minutes. Several canyons in the southern end of the park were reported to be flash flooding. Spry Canyon drains into Pine Creek and is visible from the switchbacks west of the Zion Mt. Carmel Tunnel.

One of the injured men used a headlamp to signal a distress call. An off-duty park ranger traveling on the switchbacks reported seeing the flashing light at the top of the last rappel in Spry Canyon. He reported the flashing light and two rangers were sent to the location and discovered the injured men.

A helicopter was used to short-haul the two most seriously injured men to air ambulances, that then transported them to the Dixie Regional Medical Center. The rescue effort involved 20 park personnel and three helicopters.

The incident emphasizes the importance of heeding the weather and flash flood potential reports and seriously considering the advisability of entering narrow canyons when rain and flash flooding are a possibility.