Mary Jane Canyon, also known as Professor Creek, is a dog-friendly trail that runs through the slopes of red sandstone rocks near Moab, Utah, and leads to a stunning 30-foot waterfall.
The moderately challenging hike is about 9 miles long and takes most people over 2.5 hours to complete, but the views are worth it.
However, a 38-year-old woman and her dog has a terrifying experience while hiking the trail.
As the pair admired the beautiful surroundings and headed towards the waterfall, a storm rolled in. The woman tried to get to higher ground with her dog but was swept 150-200 feet down the canyon by the flash flood. She sent an emergency satellite SOS message on her phone but received a text message stating, “Emergency Services: Message Send Failure.”
She and her dog managed to stay together, and since she didn’t think her message for help was received, she continued down the canyon without her shoes and covered in mud.
Grand County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (GCSAR) actually did receive the signal at 7:22 p.m. and immediately dispatched a team of hikers into the canyon. They said, “The standard text message with the service simply stated that the person with the device needed assistance. It contained geographic coordinates, but no information about the nature of the emergency.”
Classic Air Medical also assisted in the rescue as the storm cleared and arrived at the sent location which was 3.5 miles from the trailhead. The woman and her dog were not in the area, so the team continued to search and spotted them 2 miles downstream. Since the helicopter could not land in the area, the location was given to the GCSAR hikers who located the woman and her dog at 9:25 p.m. and both were uninjured.
The woman was relieved when help arrived and told them what occurred. GCSAR shared the rescue story on Facebook.
“She stated that she heard the flood coming and tried to get to higher ground. She reached a sand bank above the creek with her dog, but the rising water eroded the sand, sending both her and the dog into the flood waters,” they wrote.
One of the rescuers loaned the woman their shoes and everyone returned to the trailhead.
GCSAR is glad that all are safe and shared a safety tip for all hikers. “Safety Tip: Please research your planned route thoroughly. Know the specific type of terrain you will encounter. Check local weather forecasts on the day of your trip. Thunderstorms build quickly and can flood canyons from many miles away.”
Bureau of Land Management tells people to “Tread Safely” and warned, “slot canyons in Utah can be deadly in flash flood conditions.” Check out their safety video below.