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Oak Creek Canyon, AZ - On September 4 at approximately 7:30 PM the Coconino County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of two lost and stranded hikers in the area of West Fork of Oak Creek. The individuals had started their hike at 11:00 AM and were planning to from the Call of the Canyon Trailhead in Oak Creek to the bridge at Woody Mountain Road. During the hike they heard thunder and decided to exit the canyon. They attempted to climb up the side of Howard Pocket to reach the rim. Due to the terrain and the darkness setting in, they became stranded below the rim. One of the hikers was able to make a call to 911 to request assistance.
The Coconino County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Unit and the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Northern Air Rescue Unit responded to the call. DPS Air Rescue located the hikers from the air and determined that a one-skid landing was possible at the location. The hikers were rescued at approximately 9:30 PM and flown to Fry Park where they were met by Search and Rescue and provided with a ride to their vehicle on Woody Mountain Road.
The Search and Rescue Unit would like to remind hikers to research their trip and the weather conditions before setting out to ensure that there is enough time to complete the hike safely. Hikers should always tell a trusted person where they are going and when they plan to return. All outdoor users should carry the Ten Essentials (water, food, extra clothing, navigation equipment, headlamp, first aid kit, shelter material, fire starting kit, pocket knife, and signaling equipment) in addition to a charged cell phone in case an emergency occurs.
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