Hiker Missing for 11 Days in Grand Canyon National Park Found Alive

Paula Liu
By Paula Liu
January 3, 2020USshare
Hiker Missing for 11 Days in Grand Canyon National Park Found Alive
A view into the Grand Canyon from Arizona's South Rim on July 10, 2003. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

A missing hiker in Grand Canyon National Park was found alive on Jan. 2 after being gone for 11 days, according to multiple reports.

Fox News reported that the missing hiker, Martin Edward O’Connor, was found by hikers while on the New Hance Trail on Jan 1. The hikers who found O’Connor reportedly saw a man who matched the missing man’s description and reported the finding to the National Park Service (NPS). Park rangers were dispatched to the location on Jan. 2 where O’Connor was found, according to the news outlet.

A news release issued by the NPS stated that O’Connor was flown out of the canyon by helicopter, and is currently undergoing medical evaluation. CBS News reported that O’Connor is in a stable condition.

O’Connor, a 55-year-old La Porte, Texas, resident was first reported missing on Dec. 22 when he was last seen at the Yavapai Lodge on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, according to the news release. It is believed that he was staying at the lodge from Dec. 17 to Dec. 22, and he was reportedly traveling alone during this time, according to USA Today.

Park officials did not include further information regarding O’Connor’s condition on Friday, the news release stated.

In an earlier news release issued by the NPS on Monday, NPS stated that it would be conducting a missings person search for O’Connor at the Grand Canyon National Park. It was stated that should anyone come across O’Connor they should contact NPS Investigative Services Branch immediately.

The NPS also issued a weather alert on Thursday warning hikers and travelers about icy areas on roads, footpaths, and trails in the park, according to the park service website. At 7 a.m. local time on Jan. 3 roads were open, but hikers were alerted to be careful of icy conditions, stating, “please slow down, and allow extra time. Foot traction devices and trekking poles recommended for hikers.”

According to the NPS, the New Hance Trail is more suited for experienced hikers, as it is not maintained properly. The website stated, “The New Hance Trail lies within a primitive use area and is thus recommended only for highly experienced canyon hikers. It is not maintained and may be the most difficult established trail on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.”

NPS recommends that hikers never hike alone at the park, as it can be dangerous, writing “hike intelligently. You are responsible for your own safety as well as that of everyone in your party.”

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