Hiker missing from Zion National Park found after calling 911 and family, rangers say

Zion National Park officials were looking for John Fiske Burg, missing since Tuesday, September 28. (Zion National Park)

SPRINGDALE, Washington County – A 79-year-old man who had been missing since Tuesday called 911 and his family before being located by Air Force Airmen flying over Zion National Park on Saturday afternoon, said park officials.

Park rangers said airmen located John Fiske Burg above Lodge Canyon inside the park. The man was treated on site before being taken to a hospital in St. George for treatment.

Burg was reported missing after he was last seen leaving a La Quinta hotel in Kanab on Tuesday morning. He was staying with a group of about 50 hikers and told others he was planning to hike the Canyon Overlook Trail. When he did not return, they reported his disappearance to rangers in Zion National Park on Wednesday.

Search and rescue teams have been running the Canyon Overlook Trail in recent days. Then on Friday, Burg called 911 at the Washington County dispatch and was able to leave a voicemail message for family members as well, park officials said. The next day, a team from Nellis Air Force Base was able to locate the man.

“These phone calls provided (search and rescue) operations with the information needed to scale up operations and target specific areas of Zion National Park,” officials wrote in a statement. “The 911 call he made was critical and saved his life.”

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